Karnataka

COVID-19 scare: Govt. convenes all-party meeting on April 18

In the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the State government has convened an all-party meeting on April 18 to discuss strategies to combat the spread of the virus. However, the decision has been slammed by the Opposition that felt it to be too late and without preparation.

“We will take decisions based on the suggestions given by the Opposition leaders. We will discuss all the issues with the leaders during the meeting,” Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa told reporters here on Wednesday. “Except for lockdown, we want to take strict measures to curb the COVID-19 spread. If need be, the night curfew could be extended to two or three more districts,” he added.

When his reaction was sought on the weekend curfew, he said: “We have not thought about it. Let us discuss these issues with the Opposition leaders.”

Meanwhile, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy hit out at the government.

“When the State government ignored the early warning (on the second wave) and is not ready with the necessary infrastructure, what is the use of holding a meeting,” Mr. Kumaraswamy asked. “We would not have reached this position if both the Centre and State had not ignored the early warning,” he said on twitter.

He said: “Our support to the government’s effort to handle the COVID-19 pandemic will always remain. However, it is deplorable that the governments ignored the warnings and remained irresponsible towards public health.” Governments should at least stock up enough medicines, otherwise what is the use of convening meetings, he asked, referring to the shortage of Remdesivir.

Mr. Shivakumar told reporters that the government has so far done what it wants. “This pertains to the health of people. The government has not listened to us. When the situation has gone out of hand, it has convened a meeting.” He accused the government of not honouring its promises made last year when COVID-19 hit the State. “Measures were announced to sustain the lives of people for a month. Even that too was not fully done.”

He said that the official intimation was yet to reach him. “We (party leaders) will discuss and take a stand.” When his thoughts on a lockdown was sought, Mr. Shivakumar said: “I feel people are struggling and there is no need for a lockdown. It will not help anyone. Enough precautions should be taken now. Measures by the government to mitigate the problems of the poor have not been much. It is a question of saving both life and livelihood.” Further, he said: “The government is not bothered about employers or employees. Businesses are unable to repay their loans.”

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:37:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-scare-govt-convenes-all-party-meeting-on-april-18/article34318897.ece

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