COVID-19: Karnataka CM convenes all-party meet, seek support in fighting pandemic

Ralph Alex Arakal
COVID-19: Karnataka CM convenes all-party meet, seek support in fighting pandemic

Responding to suggestions made by other leaders, the CM also announced that the supply of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides will be made seamless to help the farmers.

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Sunday convened an all-party meet - the first since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the state on March 9 - seeking support from leaders across all political parties to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

At the meeting held in Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru, the CM said, "Leaders from opposition parties have recommending providing ration at the doorsteps of needy. We will discuss the same with government officers and will make arrangements for the same."

He added that people stuck at state borders will be checked thoroughly and accommodation facilities will be provided to them soon. "Passengers suspected of COVID-19 will be kept under quarantine and healthy passengers will be ensured they reach their destinations," he added.

Responding to suggestions made by other leaders, the CM also announced that the supply of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides will be made seamless to help the farmers.

The CM further said that steps will be taken to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, masks and sanitisers to healthcare professionals across the state. "Measures will be taken to PPE kits reach doctors, nurses, and other staff at the first line of defence fighting the pandemic at taluk and district level," he said.

Later, Yediyurappa appreciated representatives of the Muslim community for deciding to hold prayers at their own houses and not in mosques till the lockdown period is over.

Several leaders including former Chief Ministers H D Kumaraswamy (Janata Dal-Secular), Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar (Congress) attended the meeting along with ministers Sudhakar, Sriramulu and Deputy CM Ashwathnarayan among others.

22% of positive cases in Karnataka linked to Dubai, minister raises concern

With over 22% of patients tested positive for COVID-19 in Karnataka having a travel history to Dubai, the health department points out that the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) turns out to be an epicentre for infections recorded in the state so far.

Elaborating on the same, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said, "As most positive cases in Karnataka indicate a link to Dubai, it is a major matter of concern.

As on March 28, 17 out of the 76 positive cases confirmed in the state were linked to passengers having a travel history to Dubai.

At the same time, Dr Prakash Kumar, Joint Director, Communicable Diseases cited the layover in Dubai to be one among the factors that might have led to the same.

"As far as India is concerned, Dubai seems to be the new epicentre of COVID-19. Layover for flights there range from six to seven hours on an average," he added.

Incidentally, countries from UAE were not part of the initial list of countries identified by India to screen arriving international passengers.

The trend reflects on the national level as well, a recent study by Dr Anupam Singh, a public health researcher at Santosh Institute of Medical Sciences in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) indicated.

"We should have more aggressively (screened) in early March," Dr Singh wrote on Twitter.

Mysuru supermarket denies entry to students from North East, FIR filed

A couple of students, hailing from Nagaland were denied entry into a supermarket in Mysuru on Saturday as the staff allegedly termed them 'foreigners' and making racial remarks.

According to the police, the incident took place in a supermarket located near Chamundipuram on JLB Road Branch in Mysuru at around 6.30 pm.

As the video went viral on Sunday, police authorities intervened to take the staff of the outlet into custody after lodging an FIR against them.

"We have noticed a video showing discrimination against Naga migrants in a 'More' outlet in Mysuru. An FIR was lodged immediately in Krishnaraja police station, taking the manager and staff of the outlet into custody. We urge people and shop owners/staff to desist from doing such acts and behave responsibly in this time of crisis," Dr Chandragupta, Mysuru Police Commissioner said.

According to the police, the case has been lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code which includes sections 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc); 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint); 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant); and 268 (Public nuisance).

Railway personnel distribute food to needy, grocery kits to porters

In a bid to reach out to the economically constrained, South Western Railway (SWR) officials Sunday began distribution of cooked food of migrant workers, daily-wage labourers and others stranded in different parts of the state.

According to Bengaluru Divisional Railway Manager Ashok Kumar Verma, food prepared in the IRCTC base kitchen canteen at KSR Bengaluru railway station will be distributed to the needy with the help of Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel.

"All precautions including social distancing and wearing masks are being followed during preparation, packing and distribution of food packets," Verma said after inspecting the base kitchen on Sunday.

Around 2,000 food packets were distributed to the beneficiaries in different areas of the city.

Verma added that more packets will be prepared in the upcoming days as several NGOs and PSUs have expressed their will to contribute towards the cause.

"This initiative is carried out in various areas of Bengaluru, Mysuru and Hubballi," SWR Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya said.

BBMP identifies 17 'quarantine hotels' in Bengaluru

Bengaluru's local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has identified 17 hotels in the city to keep citizens in quarantine for COVID-19 surveillance.

According to the order, the government will bear the expenses of room and food rent for those in quarantine. The hotels have also been directed to use only disposable cutlery.

All hotels included in the list will have no air-conditioning (AC) facilities as recommended by healthcare experts.

CM reaches out to citizens for donations

Chief Minister Yediyurappa Sunday reached out to citizens in the state seeking donations to the CM's Relief Fund (CMRF) to help the government fight the pandemic.

"Citizens can donate to CMRF via Internet Banking, UPI, and RTGS/NEFT methods," he said.

Five more test positive in same pharma company

As seven new positive cases were confirmed positive in the state as on Sunday.

The 35-year-old (Patient 52) was considered the first possible community transmission case in the state as he had no travel and contact history to other affected countries.

"As per preliminary reports, the five new cases (Patients 77,78,79,80, and 81) from Mysuru are all men and have been working with Patient 52 in the same pharmaceuticals company," a health department official confirmed.

The total number of positive cases to date in Karnataka is at 83 as on Sunday, which includes 5 discharges (Patients 1,2,3,4 and 5) and three deaths (Patients 6,53 and 60).

The other new cases are of a 35-year-old male resident (Patient 82) of Udupi who had a history of travel to Dubai and that of a 29-year-old male resident (Patient 83) of Udupi who had travelled to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Both these patients are admitted to a designated isolation hospital in Udupi, according to the media bulletin.

To date, a total of 3,170 samples have been sent for testing from the state.

Incidentally, even as lockdown measures are in place, 19 more people supposed to be in Home Quarantine from across the state were caught for non-compliance to orders based on complaints raised by the public. A total of 120 such people have been shifted to institutional quarantine as on Sunday, health officials added.

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