Covid-19 pandemic: No shortage of masks, testing kits in state, says CM BS Yediyurappa

Prime News, Karnataka, Bengaluru, March 30:- There was no shortage of masks and testing kits for detecting coronavirus cases in Karnataka and the government would import them if a need arose, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in an all-party meeting at the Vidhana Soudha on Sunday.

Apprising leaders of political parties on measures taken by his government to combat the spread of coronavirus, he also told the all-party meeting that the government has decided to provide life insurance cover to police and civic workers and has taken extra precautions to maintain the supply of food grains.

“There is no shortage of testing kits, medicines and masks. If there is a need, we will import more… We will distribute testing kits to all the district and taluk hospitals,” he said.

The state has so far reported 83 COVID-19 cases including three deaths and five recoveries.

Yediyurappa said supply of food grains would be made through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the government had taken extra precautions to avoid any difficulties.

He told the leaders that there was no restriction on agriculture activities in the state.

“I have been regularly holding meetings since March 13 regarding the measures taken to contain the transmission of COVID-19,” BS Yediyurappa said.

Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, IT-BT Minister CN Aswath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, former chief ministers Siddaramaiah, HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) MLA HD Revanna, DK Shivakumar and former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar also attended the meeting.

Yediyurappa said that a task force comprising of ministers and officials has been formed to oversee the implementation of the government orders in view of the 21-day lockdown. He highlighted the prevailing situation across the globe saying normal life has been paralysed everywhere.

The Chief Minister also briefed the leaders about the number of clinics all over the state, availability of medicines and protection gear for the doctors and in quarantine rooms in the state.

Shortcomings in the screening of passengers

At the meeting, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that there were shortcomings in the screening of passengers coming from abroad and stressed on the need to maintain supply of essentials. Flagging concerns over the COVID-19 screening process, Siddaramaiah said around 4,500 people were yet to be tracked, which needs to be taken up on a war footing.

“The government is saying that we have not reached the third stage but in Nanjangud (Mysuru district), a person contracted the disease though he does not have any travel history. This must be probed,” Siddaramaiah said.

The former Chief Minister asked the government to make sure that the free distribution of food grains to weaker sections takes place without any difficulty from April 1, as announced by the central government. He objected to the police excesses while enforcing lockdown. Siddaramaiah also asked the government to bring the police personnel under special insurance cover. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)


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