Vaccination drive for 15-18 age group from today

For those above 60 with co-morbidity, it will start on Jan. 10

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said in Belagavi on Sunday that the vaccination drive for children aged between 15 and 18 will begin on January 3 and for those above 60 with co-morbidity will start on January 10.

“The State Government will decide on imposing tough rules in Bengaluru, in a day or two. We will hold a meeting of officers and experts, discuss the intensity of the spread and then decide on the need for tough rules,’’ he told journalists at the airport in Sambra.

“We know that cases are rising in Delhi and Mumbai and also in other parts of Maharashtra. Bengaluru has also seen cases rising. We are watching the situation. We will see how the wave moves and how the virus spreads and among whom. We will elicit opinion of experts before reaching a decision on tough rules for Bengaluru,’’ the Chief Minister said.

Clarifying on a statement by Revenue Minister R. Ashok about a possible lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, the Chief Minister said that it reflected the State’s stand that there will be no lockdown if the people cooperated.

“If the public acts in accordance with the present rules of night curfew and restricted public gatherings, then there is no need for a lockdown. This is our stand and Mr. Ashok has spoken about it. It is like a preliminary statement that describes the situation,’’ the Chief Minister said.

He did not react to a straight question on whether there will be a lockdown if public cooperation is “less than satisfactory”.

“We are preparing for a situation where cases may rise suddenly. We are asking hospitals in taluks, districts and in Bengaluru to prepare for oxygen supply to COVID-19 wards. Technicians have been asked to test oxygen plants and supply tubes, cylinders and other machinery. All hospitals have been asked to place indents for purchase and supply of medicine. We are adding 4,000 ICU beds to the pool of available beds in hospitals. We are also stepping up vigil in the borders. Strict checking on the borders may cause inconvenience to commuters. But these steps are necessary for the general well being of the public,” he said.

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