Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Tuesday expressed concern over mortality among the young and mid-age groups due to COVID-19, amid a spike in cases, and has sought for a death audit from expert doctors to know the reasons. He also said the second wave of the pandemic was spreading faster than the first wave.
"Yesterday there has been an increase in cases. For the first time in the last six months 5,279 fresh cases were reported. More than 1 lakh cases have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours, and the mortality rate is also increasing. In the state also it was up with 32 deaths yesterday," Sudhakar said. Speaking to reporters here, he said mortality among middle aged and young people was a serious matter of concern.
"The deaths yesterday included youths of age 25, also 35 and 40 year-olds, this has caused concern. So I have asked the technical advisory committee and a panel of expert doctors for a death audit to be done, to know the exact reason for deaths," he added. Noting that the second wave was spreading faster than the first wave, the minister said it also cannot be said that its intensity was less.
"Many are in need of ICU and oxygenated beds, and we are making arrangements for it." A total of 33,697 beds have been reserved under the government's facility for Covid patients in the state.Besides, 15,733 oxygenated beds were available in government hospitals out of which 10,083 beds have been reserved for COVID cases. Private hospitals have been directed to increase COVID reserved beds to 20 per cent and may have to increase the number if more cases were detected, he said.
The minister appealed to people to be cautious and follow the COVID protocol. On vaccination, Sudhakar said, Karnataka was in the sixth position in the country with over 48 lakh people receiving the jab.
Already 48.05 lakh people have been vaccinated till yesterday and 1,95,554 people have got the jab in the last 24 hours, he said.Over 22.5 lakh people who received vaccination were above 60 and 10.4 lakh people between 45-59 age group. The minister said it was not true that one will become completely immunised from the virus infection once he/she is vaccinated. However, severity of infection will be less in those who have received the shot.
On requests from the film industry to remove the 50 per cent occupancy restriction in cinema halls from April 7 and allow 100 per cent seating, Sudhakar said the matter will be discussed with the Chief Minister who will take a decision. The Technical advisory committee has submitted a report 20 days ago on the guidelines to be followed in cinema and marriage halls, public transport, schools etc, and the Chief Minister has taken the decision after consulting with everyone concerned, he said.
Noting that Maharashtra has announced strict measures including weekend lockdown, he said, "we should not push ourselves to a similar situation in our state. People should cooperate in this regard."