Decision on weekend curfew on Friday

The State Government has decided to take a final decision on relaxing weekend curfew/ lockdown on Friday after monitoring the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the next four days.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai chaired a meeting with some of his Cabinet colleagues, members of Technical Advisory Committee, health and senior officials on Monday and decided to wait for some more days before taking a final call on relaxing weekend curfew.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok, who attended the meeting, told presspersons that the Government would take a decision on continuation or relaxation of weekend curfew on Friday. The Government would hold another round of meeting on Friday and take a decision based on suggestions given by health experts.

On January 4, the Government has decided to impose State-wide night curfew and weekend curfew till January 19. Following rise in cases, on January 11, it has decided to extend weekend and night curfew till end of January. However, owners of hotels, tourism and other industries and trade have started opposing the weekend lockdown since they have been incurring huge financial losses. They demanded immediate removal of weekend curfew.

Mr. Ashok said the Government would not succumb to any lobby while taking a decision on relaxation of weekend lockdown. Taking into consideration of health of the people of the State, the Government would a take a decision. “Certainly, the Government is not interested in giving trouble to any section of people. The government is against the lockdown,” he said.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too suggested the State Governments to find out alternative methods to lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Decline soon

The Minister said that health experts informed to the Government that COVID-19 cases are expected to reach peak on January 25 or January 26 and would start decline thereafter.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister suggested to senior officials to give more attention to increase OPD beds by deploying more personnel for treating patients in Bengaluru.

The Chief Minister suggested officers to control the number of people getting admitted for triaging. To remove fear among home isolation patients, the Health Department officials have been told to make arrangement to make telephonic calls to such patients and take steps to distribute health kits to them by roping in NGOs.

People with comorbidities

Officials have been told to contact patients with comorbidities at least once in a day and enquire about their health to instil a sense of confidence in them. He also told officials to involve local doctors for consultation.

Officials have been instructed to give special attention to kids infected with virus in rural areas by distributing separate health kits to them. Parents of children shouldbe counselled for removing fears about the virus, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare K. Sudhakar.

The Chief Minister instructed officials to create awareness about the benefits wearing masks and following COVID-appropriate behaviour by utilising both print and electronic media.

It was also decided that tests would be increased as per the ICMR rules and speed up vaccination drive in eight-nine districts which were lagging in the coverage second dose. The Chief Minister would hold video conference with deputy commissioners and instruct them to increase the vaccination drive, Mr. Sudhakar said. The meeting decided to intensify vaccination drive for children in the age group of 15-18 years.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 5:06:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/decision-on-weekend-curfew-on-friday/article38283612.ece