Karnataka earmark Rs 200 crore to contain coronavirus spread

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Bengaluru, 19 Mar: All international passengers coming into Karnataka will be quarantined for 15 days, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Wednesday, even as the government decided to extend lockdown measures till March 31 to contain the spread of Covid-19.


Speaking at the Legislative Assembly after an emergency Cabinet meeting where the Covid-19 situation was discussed at length, Yediyurappa said Rs 200 crore will be set aside “immediately” to meet the expenses in handling the epidemic.


The Cabinet has also decided to form a task force dedicated to tackle Covid-19. The task force will have Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar.



“It will function under Sriramulu. It will meet every day to review the situation and inform the public,” Yediyurappa said.


The number of public events organised during the next few weeks should be either restricted or limited to 100-150 persons, the CM said. Strict measures are also taken to restrict public entry to Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha, he added.


Private hotels and lodges will be roped in to quarantine international passengers, Sudhakar said.


“International passengers will also be stamped on their right hand, and should ensure that they do not come into contact with others,” he said. As many as 1,17,306 travellers have been screened till date, the minister said.


Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said all government hospitals in taluk centres should be equipped with ventilators as the disease causes severe breathing problems.


He alleged that private hospitals were not admitting patients suspected of Covid-19 and demanded action against them. “Let them keep the patients in isolation, but they should admit them,” he said.


The Cabinet, according to the CM, also took stock of bird flu, swine flu and Kyasanur Forest Disease.


“With bird flu in Mandya, Mysuru and Davangere, swine flu almost everywhere and KFD in Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga, it has been decided to give special focus on this,” Yediyurappa said.



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