Karnataka CM to interact with gram panchayats over high COVID caseload

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(Eds: rpting after correcting typos in 1st&5th paras) Bengaluru, May 25 (PTI) With the increase in COVID-19 cases in rural areas, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will interact with select gram panchayats reporting high caseload via video conferencing on May 26, regarding containment measures.

'Tomorrow the Chief Minister will interact with select gram panchayats with high cases, via video conference,' Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, he said with indications that COVID is coming under control in cities like Bengaluru, the government's focus is now on rural areas, and hence district administrations have been given greater responsibilities,including implementation of lockdown locally.

Noting that the steady decline in daily cases, especially in cities like Bengaluru, was a bit of an ease, the CM had said, however the situation in rural areas is not satisfying, and people there need to be more cautious.

Bommai said instructions have been given for micro containments in rural areas, PDOs (Panchayat Development Officers), health officers and police officers of the respective limits have been given the responsibility.

They have also been asked to ensure ration and medicine supplies to the needy, he said.

Instructions have been given to test primary and secondary contacts of those infected compulserly, and provide vitamin and zinc tablets to primary contacts.

Orders also have been issued to ensure that Doctors visit rural areas, he added.

On black fungus disease, Bommai said the state ministers have held discussions with Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilizer D V Sadananada Gowda, who has assured that the Centre will supply 1,000 vials of medicine for the treatment of Mucormycosis (black fungus).

'.. instructions have been given to set up special wards in all the districts,' he said.

Karnataka has reported 446 Mucormycosis or black fungus infections and 12 related fatalities so far.

The Minister said directions have been to make special arrangements, including setting up ICUs at pediatric wards in district hospitals, for the treatment of children, in the days to come.

There have been reports expressing concern that Covid will disproportionately affect children in the next wave, however, several experts have said that there is no reason to believe in it.

On increasing COVID deaths despite the number of cases gradually coming under control, Bommai said the virus in the second wave is spreading fast and within two to three days of infection, many are experiencing drop in oxygen level and they develop pneumonia like symptoms among others, unlike the last time. PTI KSU ROH ADMINISTRATOR ROH ADMINISTRATOR

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