No curbs on Christmas or New Year, says Minister

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Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao interacting with media persons in Mysuru on Saturday. MLA Tanvir Sait and District Congress president Vijaykumar are present.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao interacting with media persons in Mysuru on Saturday. MLA Tanvir Sait and District Congress president Vijaykumar are present.
| Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao said in Mysuru on Saturday that there were no curbs on Christmas or New Year celebrations as the situation did not warrant it.

Speaking to media persons Mr. Gundu Rao said Karnataka has stepped up vigilance and taken all precautionary measures but there was no need to panic nor was there a need to start screening people at random.

He said the current situation did not warrant it as per the expert committee and the State government would abide by its recommendations.

However, given the uptick in COVID-19 cases and the identification of the JN.1 variant in Kerala, the caution and vigil will be more in districts bordering that State and they include Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, and Dakshni Kannada. Mr. Gundu Rao reiterated the earlier advisory of the government that people above 60 years of age and those with comorbidities should ideally wear masks. The same holds good if one were to be in crowded places or where there were large congregations, he added.

The Minister said Karnataka had already ramped up testing and it was the second highest in the country after Kerala. “We have been doing about 5000 tests per day since Saturday but the number of case positives is very low,” he added. But the government was constantly reviewing the preparedness at all levels and has ensured availability of hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen etc, said the minister. In addition, over 2700 RT-PCRs and rapid tests have been conducted and there were 175 COVID-19 cases in the State but a majority of them were isolated at their homes.

Though four people have died so far in the State they were suffering from other comorbidities and it could not be said with certainty that the death was due to COVID-19 alone, said Mr. Gundu Rao.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said wearing masks in indoor gatherings was advisable. He said so far seven cases have been detected in Mysuru. The DC said the testing capacity has been ramped up and they were in a position to conduct 1000 tests per day. He also said that no testing or screening would be conducted at tourist places though vigil had been stepped up in areas bordering Kerala.

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