Karnataka, one of the worst hit states in the second wave of Covid, is setting up a task force to ensure preparedness for the third wave of infections.
This task force will be chaired by Dr Devi Shetty, renowned surgeon and chairman, Narayana Health, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said today.
The move comes after the centre's top scientific advisor Dr K VijayRaghavan recently warned that given the levels at which the virus is circulating, a third wave of infections is "inevitable". However, he said the country may succeed in dodging it if necessary steps to stem the spread are taken.
Still in the second wave of infections, India is reporting close to 4 lakh cases and more than 4,000 deaths daily.
The Chief Minister further said that restrictions imposed in the state on April 24, and tightened on May 10, have managed to bring down the number of fresh cases reported daily, from around 50,000 to below 40,000.
He said the state is stepping up the infrastructure in government-run hospitals and providing subsidies to private medical college hospitals to help them increase the number of oxygen beds and set up oxygen generation units.
The government, he said, is tackling the hike in oxygen requirement through a three-pronged strategy -- increasing Supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen, scaling localised generation capacity and large scale procurement of oxygen concentrators and cylinders.
The Chief Minister added that the state government has decided to appoint clinical scientist Prof Gagandeep Kang as adviser on its vaccination strategy.
He said the state is preparing to procure 5 crore doses for the 18-44 age group. While it has placed orders for 3 crore doses, it is floating global tenders for the remaining.
On the Remdesivir injections, the Chief Minister said the state government has requested the centre to allocate the unutilised quota of other states to Karnataka, citing high demand.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru Police Commissioner on Thursday tweeted that no prayers, gatherings or celebrations on the occasion of Eid can be held in mosques or grounds in view of the restrictions in place.
The state on Thursday reported 35,297 fresh cases and 344 deaths over the past 24 hours. Bengaluru accounted for 15,191 of the fresh cases.