Rise in COVID-19 cases: Ker Health Minister underlines need for stringent measures

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Bengaluru, Apr 18 (PTI) Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday underlined the need for more stringent action in Bengaluru in view of rising coronavirus cases leading to speculations about lockdown in the coming days.

'There is a need for more stringent measures in Bengaluru. This is my clear opinion and the same will be communicated to the Chief Minister for discussion,' Sudhakar told reporters in Bengaluru after meeting Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is undergoing treatment in a private hospital for COVID-19.

To a question if he discussed imposing lockdown in Bengaluru with the Chief Minister, Sudhakar said, 'I have discussed with him regarding it. Tomorrow after the all-party meeting, the Chief Minister may support stringent measures.' The Minister's statement came ahead of the all-party meeting on Monday.

The said meeting was supposed to take place on Sunday and Yediyurappa was to chair it.

Since Yediyurappa is in hospital, Revenue Minister R Ashoka will chair the meeting.

Sudhakar said the meeting has been convened as the coronavirus can be controlled with coordination and by taking everyone's suggestion.

Insisting that lockdown alone was not a solution, he pointed out that everyone's opinion will be taken before arriving at a decision.

When asked about the shortage of oxygen, the minister said the Government of India has allotted 300 metric tonnes of oxygen for Karnataka.

This besides, he would speak to the Ballari district authorities for supply of oxygen from the JSW Company, which is a major oxygen generating company.

Further, he would also speak to the Major and Medium Industries Minister regarding it.

Replying to a query, Sudhakar said the second wave has shown how rapidly it has been spreading and accordingly action plans have to be drawn.

To a query on community spread, the Health Minister said, 'The Centre has already admitted that it has spread in the community in the country and I too have noticed it. The way coronavirus positive cases are rising, it only points to community spread.' The Minister appealed to the people not to get admitted in the hospital with mild symptoms and occupy beds, which is meant for critically ill patients.

Meanwhile, a dedicated war room has also been created in the city for oxygen supply in the hospitals.

'In order to facilitate availability of medical oxygen for treatment of Covid-19 patients a dedicated war room has been created at the Office of the Drugs Controller,' Sudhakar said in a tweet.PTI GMS SS PTI PTI