Karnataka readies Bengaluru-specific COVID-19 guidelines

They will be announced if approved by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa

With COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru reaching almost 13,000 on Sunday, the State government is contemplating prescribing Bengaluru-specific guidelines to control the pandemic.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok told mediapersons on Sunday that specific guidelines for Bengaluru will be announced after seeking permission from Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. โ€œThere will be no lockdown. The Chief Minister has also clarified on this. We will not allow the livelihood of the poor to be affected. We have to live with COVID-19,โ€ Mr. Ashok said after meeting Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Sunday.

His statement came ahead of a meeting on Monday of all elected representatives of Bengaluru to discuss measures to contain the pandemic in the State capital. โ€œNext two months are crucial and people should cooperate with the government,โ€ he added.

On Sunday, following a direction of the Chief Minister, the three senior ministers discussed the shortage of oxygen, beds and vaccines besides the rush at crematoriums and burial grounds in Bengaluru.

โ€œThe rush is due to delayed formalities in the hospitals, which is leading to the pile-up at crematoriums and burial grounds in the afternoon. We have asked hospitals to release the body at the earliest, and start the formalities early in the morning,โ€ the Revenue Minister said.

He also said that measures are being taken to have four to five temporary burial grounds in the city, and increase capacity to cremate up to 200 bodies in crematoriums.

Notice to private hospitals

The Minister said that the BBMP had been asked to issue notices to private hospitals that have not released 50% of beds for COVID-19 patients under government quota. โ€œThere are several big hospitals that have not released 50% of beds. They have released hardly 10 to 15% of beds. Such hospitals will be issued notices and, if need be, searched,โ€ he said.

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