Karnataka Minister Indicates Strict Covid Control Measures, Concedes Shortage of ICU Beds in Bengaluru

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Amid a spike in Covid cases in the state, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Monday while indicating tough control measures, said lockdown is not the only solution and also conceded that Bengaluru city is witnessing a shortage of ICU beds. The Minister said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa who will be attending the meeting with MLAs and Ministers from Bengaluru, virtually from the hospital where he is undergoing treatment for Covid, will also be holding a meeting with leaders of opposition parties on Tuesday to gather their opinion on the measures to be taken in the state.

“In Bengaluru, there is an increase in infections, when infections increase there will be shortage of beds at hospitals. More than hospital beds, we are seeing a shortage of ICU beds,” Sudhakar said. Speaking to reporters here ahead of the crucial meeting with legislators and Ministers from the city, he said, we will discuss on how to bring it under control and measures to be taken in this regard.

“Giving treatment is one part of it, we will also have to control the spike in infections and bring it down, for that we will have to certainly impose restrictions on some activities. We will have to think in that direction and take advice from everyone,” he added.

Chief Minister Yediyurappa who is currently undergoing treatment for Covid at a private hospital, will be attending the meeting virtually, his office said in a statement.

Noting that the suggestions given by the state’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Covid with scientific inputs will be crucial, Sudhakar said, keeping all these aspects in mind the government will take a decision. Responding to a question on lockdown, he said, “the term lockdown is getting publicity, the question before us is what kind of strict measures should be taken to bring things under control…we should have clarity on it. Lockdown is not the only solution.”

People are thinking about normal life being affected, but many lives are getting lost and saving lives is the priority of the government, he said, adding “so we will discuss about the measure to be taken at the meeting. Chief Minister will be talking to leaders of opposition parties via video conference, following which we will come to a final decision.” Not giving clarity on whether tough measures will be announced Monday, the Minister said, “it can’t be said now itself, may be measures for Bengaluru will be announced as there is meeting with leaders of opposition parties, after getting inputs from there and discussing with Ministers, officials and TAC, a decision may be announced.” The meeting with leaders of opposition parties that was scheduled for Sunday was cancelled after Yediyurappa tested positive for Covid.

The state had on Sunday reported the biggest ever spike of 19,067 new Covid cases and 81 deaths taking the total number infections to 11,61,065 and the toll to 13,351. The total number of active cases stood at 1,33,543.

Out of the 19,067 new cases on Sunday, 12,793 were from Bengaluru alone.

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