Bengaluru, May 14: After reporting new Covid-19 cases below the 40,000-mark for the past couple of days, fresh positive cases shot up Friday in Karnataka to 41,779 Friday, making it the highest single day number in India. The state’s active cases stood at 58,8605 and deaths 21085 with the addition of 373 fatalities Friday.
Bengaluru continued to be under the grip of the virus with 14316 new cases Friday and 121 deaths. While Mysuru and Tumakuru reported above 2000 cases, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Hassans, Mandya, Raichuru, Shivamogga and Udupi reported above 1000 cases, indicating that the virus is fast spreading to districts and rural areas.
The positivity rate is above 30 per cent in eight districts, with Mysuru (38.1 per cent) topping the list. It is more than 20 per cent in 17 districts and over 10 per cent in four. Experts say mutation of the virus is seen as the main one for increase in infectivity. Reverse migration because of the lockdown, mostly from Bengaluru to rural parts, is another major factor.
Meanwhile, the government is reportedly considering extending the lockdown beyond May 24 as the Covid positivity rate and deaths are still high in many districts. The government had imposed a two-week curfew on April 28. As the measure failed to bring down the number of coronavirus infections, it enforced a strict lockdown of the same duration on May 10. The government is now finalising the next strategy by studying experts’ inputs.
Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan said the government was studying all aspects. “A decision on the lockdown issue will be taken at an appropriate time,” he said.
Even as the Yediyurappa-led government is struggling to contain the virus, the Congress party in Karnataka Friday targeted the BJP-led Union and state government over the massive shortage of Covid vaccines in the state. President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and former minister DK Shivakumar and ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claimed that the party has a Rs 100 crore plan to vaccinate the state’s population at a faster pace. For this, they sought permission from the government to procure vaccines.
“Since Modi and BSY governments have failed to vaccinate most of Karnataka months after vaccine manufacturing began, we are ready to vaccinate people ourselves. We need immediate permission to procure vaccines,” Shivakumar told the media here.
“The Congress wants to show Modi-Yediyurappa that it is possible to quickly vaccinate the masses. We just need permission to procure and use MLA/MLC development funds to buy vaccines. Since they can’t do it, they should let us do it,” he added.
Shivakumar said that out of the Rs 100 crore, Rs 90 crore will come from their party MLA and MLC funds and Rs 10 crore will come from their party.
“Currently, the rules allow only state governments, hospitals and industries to procure vaccines in India. In the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Karnataka Congress should be allowed to procure directly from vaccine makers as well,” he added.