Mekedatu padayatra led to surge in Covid cases: K’taka Health Minister


Bengaluru, Jan 13 (IANS) The padayatra by the Congress demanding speedy implementation of the Mekedatu project has indeed led to a surge in Covid cases in the state and the party is responsible for this, charged Health and Education Minister K. Sudhakar.

Speaking to the media at Vikasa Soudha on Thursday, Sudhakar, maintained that the BJP government handled the situation with maturity without giving any scope for chaos. He also appreciated the Congress for calling off the padayatra in the interest of the health and safety of the citizens.

“Several thousands of innocent people have participated in the padayatra. We are yet to see how it will spread Covid. The government did not stop the padayatra by brutal force but we tried to convince them,” he said.

The irresponsible statements made by KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar are very unbecoming and have hurt the morale of Covid warriors. They have even hurt top officers as well as frontline workers, he charged.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has very deep understanding and knowledge of irrigation issues and he is very well aware of what needs to be done to benefit the state. The Opposition should join hands with the government in such inter-state water issues. The Uttar Pradesh Congress has cancelled all political rallies despite elections. The Karnataka Congress should also have postponed the padayatra, Sudhakar opined.

The government has lodged FIRs and issued notices to all those who have violated Covid norms. CM Bommai has managed the situation very sensitively without giving room for any violence, he said.

Mekedatu is an inter-state issue and Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court. The ruling DMK is a UPA alliance partner and if the Congress high command is really concerned about Karnataka, it could have discussed with the Tamil Nadu CM to withdraw the case, said Sudhakar.

“On Dec 28, 2021, there were 356 cases in the state including 269 in Bengaluru. On January 5 we had 3,605 cases in Bengaluru and 641 in the rest of the state. On January 11, we had 10,800 cases in Bengaluru alone and 3,673 in the rest of the state. So between December 28 and January 11, in 15 days, the cases have increased by 32.64 per cent in Bengaluru Urban district, 32.65 per cent in BBMP and 36.44 per cent in the state,” explained the minister.

While the doubling time in the first wave was 10-12 days, it was 8 days during second wave. But in the third wave the cases are doubling every 2 or 2.5 days. It is therefore important for everyone to get both the doses of vaccine. Between January 1-11, there were 62,641 active cases and about 6 are in hospital, 1 per cent in Covid Care Centres and the rest 93 per cent are in home isolation, said the minister.

“We have set a target of at least 2 lakh tests per day and we will increase it further. About 1 lakh tests are being done in Bengaluru. About 265 labs are operational in the state and there are 9 genomic labs, 5 are state and 4 are central government labs. We have a capacity to sequence 1,875 samples in one batch,” claimed Sudhakar.

After the second wave, at a total cost of Rs 243 crores, we have established an additional 6,386 oxygen beds and 2,928 ICU beds in 147 taluk hospitals. 665 oxygen beds and 263 ICU beds have been added in 19 district hospitals at a cost of Rs 25 crores. 217 out of 266 oxygen plants allotted to Karnataka are operational. 3,460 ventilators and 8,100 oxygen concentrators are available, he elaborated.



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