Minister urges health officials to step up vaccination drive

Shettar says people should compulsorily wear masks

Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Dharwad district in-charge Jagadish Shettar has emphasised the need for strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocol in the wake of a second wave of the pandemic and appealed to all aged above 45 to get inoculated.

Chairing a COVID-19 review meeting on the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises in Dharwad on Thursday, Mr. Shettar said that study reports indicated a fast-spreading second wave of the pandemic and people should compulsorily wear face masks, maintain physical distancing and use hand sanitisers.

Appreciating the good work done by the health task force for the last one year in combating the pandemic, Mr. Shettar said that the task force should continue to work with the same commitment this year too.

The Minister asked the health officials to step up the vaccination drive and also take up extensive awareness campaigns to sensitise the general public on the need for inoculation.

He asked the authorities to make necessary arrangements, particularly with regard to in-patient treatment at hospitals and COVID care centres.

Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Nitesh Patil said that from 40 cases in the first week of March, the district had recorded 328 cases till March-end. Special teams were shifting COVID-19 positive patients to hospitals and swab sample collection had been increased to 3,000 per day.

And, 17 mobile swab collection vans had been pressed into service, he said.

Providing data, he said that out of the 5.08 lakh people whose swabs were taken for tests, 22,979 persons had tested positive and of them, 22,028 persons had recovered. As many as 623 patients died of the infection, he said. Two persons, one from Madarmaddi in Dharwad and another from Rajdhani Colony on Gokul Road in Hubballi, died of the infection on March 28 , he added.

Mr. Patil said that so far the administration had imposed penalty of ₹1.18 crore on people not wearing face masks.

Police Commissioner Labhu Ram, Superintendent of Police P. Krishnakant, Municipal Commissioner Suresh Itnal and various officials were present.

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