Ministers of Karnataka have unanimously decided to contribute their one year’s salary for COVID relief work in the state.
‘We the ministers in Karnataka have decided to donate one year of our salary for COVID relief work,’ state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said here on Thursday.
Ashoka was briefing reporters about Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s meeting with the district officials to review COVID management and enforcement of lockdown.
The Minister said 230 acres of land across the state have been reserved for cremation purposes and accordingly, the Deputy Commissioners have handed over land to the Tehsildars.
In Bengaluru, three crematoria had developed problems following which three more were planned at Mavallipura, Giddenahalli and Tavarekere on the city outskirts.
However, two of them at Giddenahalli and Tavarekere with a capacity to cremate 70 bodies have become operational while the one at Mavallipura with a capacity to burn 40 will start operations soon.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was present at the press meet, said the superintendents of police of all the districts have been directed to strictly impose the restrictions.
Permission has been granted to use 8,500 home guards for COVID related jobs, Bommai said adding, the state has decided to utilise 15,000 civil defence volunteers for tracking, tracing and home isolation of COVID patients.
The Minister noted that around 300 jail inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 following which the sanitisation of jails is underway while arrangements have been made to isolate the COVID patients in jail.
Meanwhile, the state government said in a statement that directions have been issued to the Deputy Commissioners to set up COVID care centres on priority basis.
Funds released to the deputy commissioners should be used for distributing medical kits to COVID affected, who are in home isolation, it added.
The CM directed the officials to ensure that all hospitals conducted an audit of oxygen and Remdisivir vials.
‘The Chief Minister also instructed to ensure judicious usage of oxygenated beds, ventilators and Remdesivir, which should be given only to the needy.
DCs have been told to ensure timely oxygen supply to the hospitals,’ the statement read.
The government has also ordered a taskforce in Taluk and Gram Panchayat level to take care of infected people.
On testing, the government said the focus should be on symptomatic patients and the results must be given within 24 hours.
All backlogs shall be cleared soon, it added.
These directions came as the cases swelled in Karnataka to a new high of 39,000 cases a day on Wednesday alone leading to the unprecedented demand for ICU beds, oxygen and Remdesivir antiviral drugs.
To contain COVID, the government has imposed a lockdown starting from April 27 night to May 12 morning in the urban areas of Karnataka. PTI