Rattled by a steep rise in Covid-19 cases, Karnataka’s Health minister B Sriramulu feels only “only God can save” the state.
Responding to criticism about the state’s handling of the pandemic, he said in Chitradurga on Wednesday that stopping the spread of Covid was “not in anybody’s hands”. “Only God can save us, and we have to bring in caution on our own. World over, the cases are doubling indiscriminately. It (virus) does not differentiate between poor and rich or choose a community or religion. There is no class or caste difference. The cases are 100% going to increase from now,” he said, as he emerged as a local shadow of President Donald Trump who made similar statements about the US.
On Thursday, following widespread criticism in dragging God into the Covid landscape, Sriramulu claimed his statement about the need for divine intervention to overcome the coronavirus was made in the context that if people do not take precautions, only god can protect them.
In a series of tweets, the minister said, "People need to be aware and cautious to avoid the spread of the virus. This plays a vital role in controlling the pandemic. If we fail at this crucial step the situation can get complicated. And if things worsen, then only god can save us."
Sriramulu's statements drew sharp criticism from the Opposition in the state. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar said the Health Minister statement on God reflects poorly on the government's ability to handle the Covid crisis. “Why do we need such a government if they cannot tackle the pandemic? This government's incompetency has left citizens to god's mercy," Shivakumar said.
Meanwhile, the state on Thursday crossed the 50,000-mark of Covid cases with 4,169 testing positive. The death toll in the state also crossed the 1,000-mark, 1,037 to be exact, with 104 patients losing their lives in the last 24 hours. Of the total 51,422 Covid cases, more than half is from Bengaluru alone — 25,288. ditto with the number of deaths — 1,037 so far with Bengaluru contributing 507 to the worrisome figure. On a day when the city was completely locked down, Bengaluru reported 2,344 Covid cases and 70 deaths.