Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Monday that the government is working with a target to fully vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of November. Speaking to the media after holding a virtual meeting with District Collectors and Zilla Parishad CEOs of 23 districts that are lagging in vaccination coverage, Sudhakar said that these 23 district administrations have been given a target to speed up coverage and complete the first dose for all by the end of this month.
Currently Udupi (83.77%), Kodagu (80.93%) and Bengaluru (80.54%) have the highest rate of vaccine coverage. "The target has been set to complete both the doses for all by November. Progress and achievement on testing, setting up of oxygen plants and other civil works were also discussed," the minister said.
Speaking on restrictions imposed by the state government over Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, the minister reiterated restrictions are necessary to prevent a surge of cases. "This year, we have a positivity rate of 0.7% and guidelines have been issued to ensure precautionary measures, especially in public celebrations. We will review the situation district-wise and issue separate guidelines wherever the positivity is more than 2%," the minister said. The festival will be observed on September 10.
Speaking on the issue on Sunday, Revenue Minister R Ashoka had said the celebrations will be allowed only in wards where the test positivity rate (TPR) is below 2%. TPR refers to the number of people testing positive for the virus per 100 tests in a group. A detailed directive has been issued which mandates festival organisers have to be vaccinated.
Further, the government has banned orchestra or DJ programmes which are usually associated with the celebration. "A 12-year-old boy has succumbed to the Nipah virus in Kerala. We have taken strict measures to ensure that the virus doesn't spread here. We also also need to be vigilant to prevent the third wave of the pandemic," the Health Minister added.