The Karnataka Health department censured the doctors who were allegedly speaking to the media and giving out 'inaccurate', 'inadequate' and 'unsubstantiated' information about COVID-19.
The notification read, "It has come to the notice of Government, that few Medical Practitioners while communicating to Public on various media platforms, are giving incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information about COVID-19." According to the government, such 'misinformation' leads to confusion in the public regarding the COVID situation in the state and encourages them to violate COVID-19 guidelines laid down by the state.
The notification also asked that medical practitioners maintain 'utmost care and caution' while communicating with the common people. The doctors were also asked to abide by the state government notification while they speak to the media or any social media platforms.
In a threat to the doctors, the state through the notification said that any 'misinformation' or 'non-factual data' on COVID-19 shared on media or social media would be deemed as an 'offence' and the government would further take action against them as per section 54 of Disaster Management ACT, 2005 and section 4(K) of the Karnataka Epidemic Disease Act, 2020.
Meanwhile, in view of the increasing COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held a meeting with the District Collectors on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Basavaraja Bommai while speaking to media persons at his residence in Bengaluru said, "Decision about the COVID-19 situation in the state will be taken after discussing with experts."
"Hospital admissions are low in the third wave. So we feel that working daily and following the COVID-19 protocols is important", he added.
According to the Chief Minister, experts are reviewing the COVID situation and they would report to the CM about it by Friday. "We will get a clear view of the COVID-19 scenario at this Friday meeting. Once the state's COVID condition is clarified, our decision on relaxation or restrictions will follow", informed Mr Bommai.
Speaking about his meeting with District Collectors, Mr Bommai said, "A video conference was held yesterday with district officials where we have decided to pay extra attention to that in districts with low vaccination rates, and to the 15 to 18-year-olds."
"The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise but the hospitalisation rate is declining. About 94 per cent of COVID-19 infected people are in home isolation, the Health Department is constantly in contact with them, delivering tele-counselling and drug kits. We are also thinking about booster doses", added the CM. "It has also been suggested to focus on strengthening the OPDs', he added.
According to Mr Bommai, COVID-19 Peak in Karnataka can be expected in February. "Experts who have reviewed the trend in different other states, have predicted that a delayed wave in our state; to be at the end of January or the first week of February", he informed.
Mr Bommai said that the Chief Secretary has already issued orders to prosecute COVID-19 rules violators. He clarified that it will be implemented without any discrimination.
Chief Minister Basavaraja Bommai on speaking about recovering from COVID-19 said, "The quarantine period of 11-12 days has passed and the test reports have come negative. I will join the office from today."
The Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday said that schools located within Shivamogga city limits will be closed for three days in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases among students.
Speaking to reporters he said, "The infection rate in Shivamogga has crossed 11 per cent. A total of 208 students and staff from 45 institutions in the city have tested COVID positive. Students of Class 1 to Class 9 are exempted from attending classes from Wednesday till Saturday."
The annual Shivamogga Marikamba Jatra has been rescheduled due to COVID third wave. Earlier the committee had decided to celebrate in mid-February. After conducting a meeting with concerned authorities and members of the Jatra Committee, Minister KS Eshwarappa said. "The Jatra will be held on March 22 and 23. It will be a simple celebration. The district administration will conduct another meeting in the first week of March."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)