Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Karnataka to focus on Bengaluru, Kalaburagi and Bidar in view of the rising coronavirus cases in these regions, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said on Wednesday. Addressing reporters after the Prime Minister's video conference with chief ministers on the COVID-19 situation in the country following a spurt in cases in a few states, Yediyurappa said people should follow the appropriate guidelines.
"As cases are going up in Bengaluru, Kalaburagi and Bidar which are located at the border of Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked us to focus on these three districts," Yediyurappa told reporters. He, however, said there was no need to panic as the cases were well under control.
The Karnataka Chief Minister added that the state has decided to open three COVID-19 care centres in Bengaluru. â€śWe aim to vaccinate 3 lakh people every day in the state,â€ť the CM said.
The Chief Minister said that since the Union government guidelines mandate that vaccination has to happen only at a health facility, the Karnataka government has sought permission to hold vaccination drives in old age homes, apartment complexes and inaccessibleâ€Ś areas.
Quoting the Prime Minister, Yediyurappa said there were adequate vaccines. He added that coronavirus can only be controlled but cannot be wiped out completely.
Ruling out any curfew or night ban, the Chief Minister appealed to the people to observe the COVID guidelines and use masks and maintain social distancing. He also asked people to be extremely careful during congregations within four walls.
However, there will not be any restrictions on public gathering during the bye-polls to Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency and Maski and Basavakalyan assembly segments.
According to the Chief Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah appreciated Karnataka for conducting over 93 per cent RT-PCR tests.
The Prime Minister insisted that vaccines should be utilised optimally with less wastage. Yediyurappa apprised Modi of the state government targets of vaccinating three lakh people every day and its plan to take up the drive at old age homes and mega residential complexes.
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In the virtual interaction with state chief ministers over the pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country and called for "quick and decisive" steps to check the "emerging second peak.â€ť
The PM said in states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh the number of COVID cases has seen a rise while nearly 70 districts in the country have seen an increase in the positivity rate by over 150 per cent of late.
"If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge," he said and called for quick and decisive steps to stop it.
The confidence brought by India's fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness, he said and asked chief ministers to take measures, including more testing, enforcement of preventive measures as well as an increase in the number of vaccination centres to curb the virus.
People should not be put on panic-mode but need to ensure that they get rid of this problem as well, he said.
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"Test, track and treat" should be taken as seriously now as it has been for over a year since the outbreak, he added.
The Prime Minister reiterated that RT PCR tests should make up for over 70 per cent of overall Coronavirus testing, while noting that states likes Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha have been mostly dependent on antigen tests.
Modi also spoke against wastage of vaccines and called for more vaccination centres.
India has put up a strong fight against the Coronavirus so far, and it is being cited as example in the world, he said, asserting that the country's recovery rate is over 96 per cent and fatality rate among the lowest.
With PTI inputs