Shankar Raj / Bengaluru
To overcome the acute shortage of vaccines, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has approved the purchase of 1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine at Rs400 per dose in the first phase. This will be used to vaccinate those between the 18 and 45 years, as per phase 3 of the Centre’s vaccine policy.
However, the government has not said if it will provide the vaccine for free or it will be subsidised or if people will have to foot the bill. Meanwhile, in another surge, Karnataka on Friday reported 26,962 new Covid-19 cases, of which Bengaluru accounted for 16,662 cases, Tumakuru 1,004, Ballari 695, Mysuru 645. Karnataka saw 190 fatalities, 124 in Bengaluru alone.
While, there is a surge in cases, many samples are yet to be tested. Many labs are taking over 2 days to declare Covid-19 test results, triggering a chain of worrying events. While they wait, symptoms of potential patients worsen, but they cannot seek a hospital bed since healthcare units are insisting on their patient number. The civic body allotts these numbers only after results are out.
According to Government data, labs had 67,628 samples pending from the previous day and received 1,54,610 fresh samples during the day Wednesday. By the day-end, 20,531 samples were processed and 48,929 samples awaited testing. Meanwhile, reports now show after the first alarm was sounded in November about a second wave hitting Karnataka in April-May 2021, the state did nothing. “We wasted 3 precious months in politicking and bypoll. Had we made adequate preparations, things would have been different,” a minister told media.