48-lakh people vaccinated in Karnataka: Minister

Bengaluru, April 7 : Over 48-lakh people have been vaccinated so far amid surging Covid cases in Karnataka, said state health minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday.

“Over 48 lakh people, including 23-lakh senior citizens above 60 years of age and 10-lakh above 45 years of age have received the jab across the state since the vaccination drive was launched on January 16,” Sudhakar told reporters here.

According to the state health bulletin, 49,646 people, including 20,725 senior citizens and 28,058 above 45 years were vaccinated on Tuesday.

Cumulatively, 46,44,731 people, including 23,05,461 senior citizens and 10,80,361 above 45 years have received the shot till Monday across the southern state since January 16.

“Karnataka is in the sixth position across the country in the vaccination drive after Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal,” said Sudhakar, who is a medical doctor by profession.

The state received an additional 15 lakh doses of vaccines on Monday for inoculating its citizens against the virus.

“Of the 15-lakh additional anti-Covid vaccines, 10 lakh are for Bengaluru region and 5 lakh for Belagavi in the state’s northwest region,” aid Sudhakar.

Ruling out vaccine shortage in the stare, Sudhakar said steps have been taken to ensure sufficient supply of the doses to all eligible people, including senior citizens and above and 45-59 years of age.

“We have 12 lakh dosages in stock after vaccinating 45 lakh people across the state since the drive was launched on January 16,” said the minister.

Admitting that mortality among mid-age group in the state was a cause of serious concern, Sudhakar said he had directed the technical advisory committee of health experts to conduct a death audit in the state.

“The pandemic’s second wave is spreading faster than the first wave across the country, with over a lakh cases registered on Monday. We cannot predict the severity of the situation now though we are prepared for it,” asserted the minister.

As per the bulletin, 6,150 new cases were registered in Karnataka on Monday, taking the state’s Covid tally to 10,26,584, including 45,107 active cases.

As epi-centre of the virus, Bengaluru reported 4,266 fresh cases on Monday, taking the city’s Covid tally to 4,55,025, including 32,605 active cases,

Touching a new high, 32 patients, including 26 in Bengaluru succumbed to the infection during the last 24 hours, taking the state’s death toll to 12,696 and the city’s toll to 4,693 since the pandemic broke in mid-March, 2020.

Of the 351 patients in the intensive care units (ICUs), 160 are in Bengaluru hospitals.

“We have reserved 33,697 beds in government and private hospitals for Covid cases across the state. Of them, 15,733 are oxygenated and 10,083 have been reserved for the virus cases,” reiterated Sudhakar.

The state government directed private hospitals to reserve 20 per cent of their beds for Covid patients. More beds will be arranged across the state if cases increase in the coming days.

Noting that vaccine would reduce the severity of the infection, the minister said vaccination was preventive but would not give total immunity from the virus.

“As people who did not get vaccinated are getting admitted into ICUs, I urge all eligible people across the state to take the jab at the earliest as the dosage only reduces the severity of the infection,” affirmed the minister.

Cautioning people against underestimating the scale and speed with which the virus was spreading in its second wave, Sudhakar said the state could face bed shortage if new cases increased drastically in the coming weeks.

“The state health department is in talks with private hospitals to reserve beds for Covid treatment. The technical advisory committee of experts has advised to consider the pandemic seriously till May-end to contain the second wave and save lives,” Sudhakar pointed out.

The committee hinted that Bengaluru will have 6,500 cases a day if the virus spread is not contained at the earliest.

“If we do not contain the virus spread, surge in new cases will be inevitable,” added the minister.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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