In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday called for a meeting to discuss the matter with minister and other government officials. The meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister and Health Minister K Sudhakar, and both denied suggestions of a lockdown or a night curfew in the state. After the meeting, eight IAS officers were named as nodal officers to control the spread of the coronavirus in and around the city.
The IAS officers who were named nodal officers are Manoj Kumar Meena (Bengaluru East), Ujjwal Kumar Gosh (Bengaluru West), Dr Ravikumar Surpur (Bommanahalli), Anbu Kumar (Yelhanka), Pankaj Kumar Pandey (Bengaluru South), Manjula (Mahadevpura), Dr PC Jaffer (Dasarahalli) and Dr R Vishal, Rajrajeshwari Nagar. Among them, Pankaj Kumar Pandey was previously the Commissioner of Health when the pandemic broke out in 2020.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa also announced that 1,166 beds have been allocated for COVID-19 in Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban, and that each ward in the city will have two mobile squads. A COVID-Care Centre with 100 beds was opened in Bengaluruâ€™s HAL and Haj Bhavan recently, while one more with 250 beds will be opened at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium on April 5.
Yediyurappa reiterated that people should wear masks and follow COVID-19 rules and norms. He said that as of now, no lockdown or night curfew will be implemented in the state. He, however, said that no protests or public rallies will be allowed for the next two weeks.
The CM added that an RT-PCR negative certificate was mandatory for travellers from Kerala and Maharashtra. However, there was no mention during the meeting of the announcement by Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday asking for all interstate travellers to carry negative RT-PCR certificates, and no order was issued to that effect either.
The meeting comes a day after Karnataka reported over 3,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day on Sunday. The state reported 3,082 COVID-19 cases on the day, with 2,004 cases recorded in Bengaluru alone. The figures showed a steady climb in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru and Karnataka over the course of the month.
The positivity rate (number of COVID-19 cases found in the tested population) increased from 0.94% to 1.94% between February and March, the state health department said.