Masks compulsory in closed space; ILI/SARI cases to be compulsorily tested

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Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar briefing reporters after a meeting chaired by the CM to review Covid preparedness.

BELAGAVI: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday evening chaired a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committe (TAC), senior officials of the Health Department via video conference to take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Briefing reporters after the meeting at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “The TAC has submitted a report on the Covid situation in other countries. On the basis of their study, the TAC has recommended some precautionary measures”.

Accordingly, all influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infections (ILI/SARI) cases will have to be compulsorily tested for Covid-19. Masks will be compulsory in closed spaces where there is air-conditioning. Testing of international travellers will be done as per Union government guidelines. Oxygen plants installed in hospitals will be checked for effective functioning.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar arriving for the Covid review meeting at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on Thursday.

At district hospitals, beds will be reserved for Covid-19 cases and private hospitals have also been told to reserve beds. Stress will be laid on the precautionary third dose. “After the first two doses, there has been lax attitude among the people towards taking the booster dose after Covid cases reduced. Hence, we have been able to achieve only 20 per cent coverage of the third dose”, Sudhakar pointed out.

Vaccination camps will be conducted in all taluks and districts where awareness will also be created. The Chief Minister has stressed that 100 per cent coverage should be achieved, the Health Minister said. The meeting also discussed maintaining regular contact with the Centre to ensure adequate supply of vaccine doses, he added.

The state government will make all preparations to tackle the spread of Covid. “I appeal to the people to get the third dose at the earliest and should not procrastinate. People should also not heed to rumours about the effects of the third dose. There are no scientific reports to highlight any ill-effects of any vaccine. We should protect ourselves by taking the vaccine. The BF.7 variant has been detected in some states in the country and can surface in Karnataka too any time. Hence, precautions and vaccination are important.

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