We feel booster dose is required for frontline workers: K’taka CM Bommai
Hubballi: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday stated that Covid booster doses are required for the frontline health workers. “It’s almost 6 to 8 months since the frontline workers have got their second doses, and the technical committee on Covid also feels the same,” he said.
Talking to reporters after arriving at Hubballi airport, he said, “I am visiting New Delhi on December 2 and will meet the Union Health Minister. I will discuss giving the booster doses to the health workers and Covid warriors. I will also discuss the scientific progress and the opinion of the Union government on booster doses,” he said.
“We feel that at least the frontline and health workers should get the booster or third dose of Covid vaccination. It has been discussed with experts in the task force meetings. They have given the opinion that health workers should be administered booster doses. I will discuss this with the Union Minister of Health,” he stated..
One sample of an international traveller has been sent to the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) for further testing as a different strain other than the Delta variant is found. “We are waiting for the report to get clarity on the presence of a new variant. As soon as we get it, further action will be initiated accordingly,” he stated.
He clarified that there is no proposal before the government to deny facilities to people who have not taken Covid vaccination. The campaign will be intensified, he added.
Regarding handling of the Covid situation in the state in the wake of the new strain threat, he said that about 2,500 foreigners arrive everyday in Karnataka at the Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports, the directions have been given to subject them to testing.
“We have our past experience during the second wave of Covid. If they (international and out state passengers) come in with infection and make several contacts here, their tracking and tracing is going to be a challenge. And there are more chances of spread of the infection,” he said.
It is going to be difficult but it is inevitable to take these steps and directions have been given to the Health Minister in this regard, he said.
“We are focusing on two fronts. One is monitoring those who come from foreign countries and testing everyone. Secondly, students and paramedics from Kerala are present in all districts and I have given directions to all district commissioners to monitor them,” he explained.
He said that he had held discussions with the Dharwad District Commissioner on the Covid outbreak in SDM Medical college. “Till date 306 students have tested positive for Covid. And, only two persons have tested positive when they were tested for the second time on the seventh day. There are no serious symptoms among the infected. The district administration has tested about 7,000 persons and more than 1,000 tests are conducted in the perimeter of medical college,” the CM said.
Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, he said, they have discussed various issues including cooperation in local elections. “Our leader, former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and JD (S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy will take a decision in this regard,” he stated.
He also stated that he had given directions to release Covid allowances for resident doctors in two or three days. There was a delay because of a lack of records. The allowances will be immediately released for those whose records are intact and others will get it in two or three days, he reiterated.