COVID-19: Karnataka aiming to make Bengaluru first metro to fully vaccinate eligible population, says Health Minister

Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Monday said the government is aiming to make Bengaluru the first metro city in India to completely vaccinate all its eligible residents against COVID-19.

The aim is to fully vaccinate the entire eligible population by the end of December, the minister said. The government has set a target of vaccinating five lakh people every day and on Wednesday, a special vaccination drive will be carried out to vaccinate 10 lakh people. Sudhakar said the Centre has provided 1.10 crore vaccines in August. 

The supply has increased after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and he had a discussion with the centre, the minister said. “We are aiming to make Bengaluru the first metro city to complete vaccination for all its eligible residents,” Sudhakar said. 

“We want to vaccinate five lakh people every day from now onwards. On Wednesday during a special vaccination drive, the target is to vaccinate at least 10 lakh people. This will ensure 1.5 to two crore doses in one month,” he said. 

Sudhakar said that four crore vaccinations have been completed in the state including one crore in the Bengaluru municipal limits. 

Measures will be initiated to increase the number in Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur and Kalaburagi districts, the minister said, adding that a special drive will be conducted for slum dwellers every day which will enable staff to conduct the drive at every slum. Priority will be given to border districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. 

Sudhakar indicated that the government is inclined to reopen classes for standard six to eight, which have not yet started for over one-and-half years since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The government is going to take a decision that will decide the future. No major side effects have taken place due to our decision after the opening of schools and colleges starting from the ninth standard. We will take a decision on opening schools for classes from six to eight,” Sudhakar told reporters after a meeting. 

He added that his department has recommended some strong decisions with regard to the academic field. The Minister appealed for cooperation from the public in the fight against COVID-19. 

“We should have a futuristic view. Third wave should not affect us, people should not die. We have made all kinds of arrangements for public health but prevention is important,” Sudhakar said. 

According to the minister, the government has taken strong measures at the Airport where people coming from abroad will have to compulsorily undergo COVID tests. 

Regarding public anger against restrictions during the Ganesha festival, Sudhakar said “the government is not happy by imposing restrictions. We want religious festivals to happen and religious harmony is maintained but at the same time, steps to contain the spread of the disease are equally important.”

“The government takes a decision based on the situation,” the minister said. 

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