Yediyurappa holds crucial meet on COVID: Bengaluru Mayor, BBMP Commissioner ignored

Deccan Chronicle.  | b aravinda shetty

Nation, Current Affairs

The Chief Minister also categorically stated that extension of lockdown in Bengaluru was not a solution to contain spreading of Covid cases

A family carrying luggage head towards railway station in Bengaluru. — Photo: Sathish B

Bengaluru: As the numbers of COVID-19 surge in Bengaluru city, Karnataka Chief Minister Mr B.S. Yediyurappa ignored the BBMP on Friday by not inviting both Mayor and BBMP Commissioner for a crucial meeting to discuss COVID-19 situation in the city.

Though BBMP Commissioner Mr Anil Kumar said that he could not attend the meeting as his personal staff had tested positive for COVID-19, Mayor Mr Goutham was also not invited for monitoring and management of COVID-19 meeting.

As of now, the Chief Minister has made senior IAS officer Mr Kumar Naik as nodal officer for COVID-19 management in Bengaluru city and made seven ministers from the City — Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan, Mr R Ashok, Gopalaiah, S T Somashekhar, Byrathi Basavaraj, V Somanna and Suresh Kumar along with Chief Minister's political secretary Vishwanath as in charge of eight divisions of Bengaluru. However, even after ten days of re-allocation, Bengaluru is witnessing a surge in the cases, which has angered the CM.

Angry over not being able to curb the growth of Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa took seven Covid in-charge ministers of the city to task. Mr. Yediyurappa warned that all seven ministers will be held responsible for any increase in Covid mortality rate in the IT city.

On Friday, Mr Yediyurappa is said to have come down heavily on the ministers too for not containing the spread of COVID-19 and said that the respective ministers would be held accountable for the spread of pandemic in their respective divisions. He also wanted the ministers to examine pandemic spreading patterns ward wise.

During the meeting, the ministers asked the Chief Minister to consider extending the lockdown beyond July 24, as most of the experts feel that 14 days lockdown would be needed to control further spread of COVID-19. However, the chief minister was reluctant and told the ministers that he would take a decision in a couple of days later, after the expert committee submits its next report.

Those privy to the meeting said that the Chief Minister was particularly worried about the financial situation of the state and extending lockdown for one more week would put more pressure on the state exchequer. Besides, the Expert Committee would be submitting its next status report on Sunday to the chief minister BS Yediyurappa and he is likely to take a decision on Monday, based on the recommendation of the Expert Committee report, they said.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka CM also categorically stated that extension of lockdown in Bengaluru was not a solution to contain spreading of Covid cases. Effective management of providing beds, ambulances and increase in tests were important too. BSY also instructed the Bengaluru police chief to strictly implement lockdown in the city.

He asked the nodal officers to keep a vigil on private hospitals and asked them to identify private hospitals that have refused to treat Covid patients.  Newly appointed volunteers and nodal officers must identify the beds in private and government hospitals, the CM said.

Yediyurappa also directed the eight Covid in-charge ministers in Bengaluru to identify marriage halls and convention centres in each wards for institutional quarantine to shelter homeless asymptomatic patients.