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Karnataka pre-prepared to handle Covid-19 surge, says health minister as cases rise

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A minister in Karnataka said on Friday that the state government has made arrangements for a resurgence in coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“Seeing the surge in Maharashtra and Kerala, it was inevitable that it would happen here too hence we were pre-prepared to handle this,” news agency ANI quoted Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar as saying.

Sudhakar also said that chief minister BS Yediyurappa has given a few days to the public to cooperate or the state government may hike fine for violating face mask norms, ANI further reported.

Karnataka is among the eight states that are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases since February first week, according to Union health ministry. Other states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, and Haryana.

On Thursday, the state added 1,488 new cases to its tally in a span of 24 hours, which pushed the total positive cases to 9.65 lakh, according to state health department. Eight more people lost their lives to the infection after which the toll rose to 12,415. Thursday was the third consecutive day when the state reported more than 1,000 new cases.

Bengaluru reported the highest – 925 – cases followed by Dakshina Kannada (64 cases), Kalaburagi (59 cases), Bidar (53 cases), and Mysuru (49 cases).

Bengaluru urban district tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 4,14,410, followed by Mysuru 54,633 and Ballari 39,439.

Earlier, Yediyurappa chaired a meeting with senior officials and members of the Covid-19 technical advisory committee. During the meeting, experts raised concerns over the surge of Covid-19 cases and said that it is an indication of a second wave.

Meanwhile, the Centre is actively engaging with all state governments and union territories, especially those showing an uptick in daily new cases and with a high caseload of active cases, the ministry said. On March 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with state chief ministers to evaluate the Covid-19 situation. During the meeting, PM Modi urged all states and UTs to ramp up testing in line with the ‘Test Track and Treat’ strategy of the government.

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