Karnataka govt warns medicos against spreading false Covid information

Published on Jan 19, 2022 01:20 AM IST

“Medical practitioners, being proficient in both clinical and public health fields, should exercise utmost care and caution while communicating with public on Covid 19,” the statement added.

A health worker collects swab sample for Covid-19 test at KSR Railway Station in Bengaluru. (Agencies)
A health worker collects swab sample for Covid-19 test at KSR Railway Station in Bengaluru. (Agencies)
By, Bengaluru

The Karnataka government on Tuesday sent out a stern message to all the medical practitioners against spreading any misinformation related to Covid-19 among public.

“It has come to the notice of government, that a few medical practitioners, while communicating with public on various media platforms are giving incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information about Covid 19. Such information leads to confusion in public on the prevailing Covid scenario in the state and encourages them to deviate from well laid out guidelines issued by the health and revenue authorities,” the state government said in the statement.

“Medical practitioners, being proficient in both clinical and public health fields, should exercise utmost care and caution while communicating with public on Covid 19,” the statement added.

The government also said that any “misinformation or non-factual data” on Covid 19 shared on such any platforms would be deemed as an offence and necessary action would be initiated as per the Disaster Management and the Epidemics Act.

Though the Basavaraj Bommai-led state government has tried to enforce strict rules for the common public, it has barely cracked down on the political class that continue to violate or issue statements contrary to Covid protocols.

Recent remarks by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and cabinet minister Umesh Katti — wearing of mask is a personal choice — also came under sharp criticism as people questioned why the authorities never took action against politicians holding events,including the recent foot march by Congress for Mekedatu and an MLA celebrating his birthday among events.

The government has put in place night and weekend curfews along with other severe restrictions to minimise the movement of people and spread of the virus.

In another notification released on Tuesday, the state government said that the respective district administrations should strictly implement containment measures.

“Any person, group of people, society, association, organisation, institution, RWA, etc, violating containment measures and not complying with Covid-19 appropriate behaviour should be proceeded as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020 besides legal action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and other legal provisions as applicable,” the notification stated.

It also added that the officers who do not take action against violators of containment measures will also be liable for action. Meanwhile, chief minister (CM) Basavaraj Bommai also held a meeting on Tuesday to review the progress of the vaccination drive in the state.

“The CM instructed the DCs to raise the average vaccination coverage of the first and second dose to the level of state average by month end in the districts which are lagging below the state average,” read a statement by the chief minister’s office (CMO), attributing it to Bommai. The meeting with heads of district administration also saw the chief minister emphasise on protecting family members from getting infected from any Covid positive person who may be in isolation at home.

“Officials are instructed to test and treat those in home isolation. Identify those with comorbidities for immediate treatment as the positivity rate is high in all districts,” he said.

“As the testing is high in Karnataka, the cases reported are also high. But still we have succeeded in managing the situation. If the precautionary measures are good then the third wave can be managed properly,” the chief minister said.

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