Bengaluru, July 10 (IANS) Seven Karnataka ministers, who are ruling BJP legislators from Bengaluru, have been made in-charge of the seven Covid red zones to contain the pandemic spreading across the tech city, an official said on Friday.
Chief Minister Yediyurappa made Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan in-charge of west zone, Revenue Minister R. Ashoka of south zone, Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar of Bommanahalli, Housing Minister V. Somanna of east zone, Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekhar of Rajarajeshwari Nagar in southwest, Urban Development Minister B.A. Basavaraja Mahadevapura of southeast zone, Food & Civil Supplies Minister K. Gopalaiah Dasarahalli of northwest.
Chief Minister's political secretary S.R. Vishwanath has been made in-charge of Yelahanka in north zone.
Of the 28 assembly segments across the city, 14 are held by the BJP, 11 by the opposition Congress, one each by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and an Independent, while one is vacant, pending by-election.
Of the 7 ministers in-charge of the zones, three -- Somashekar, Basavaraja and Gopalaiah -- had defected from the Congress and JD-S to the BJP and got re-elected in the December 5 by-elections.
"The ministers have also been given 7 senior IAS officers to coordinate their work with the state health department, the city civic body, the city police and other stakeholders, including private hospitals and non-governmental organisations," said the official.
The officers are Tushar Girinath (east zone), Rajendra Kumar Katria (west), P. Manivannan (Bommanahalli), Naveen Raj Singh (Yelahanka), Munish Moudgil (south), N. Manjula (Mahadevpura) and P.C. Jaffer (Devanahalli).
The health department has also decided to ramp up beds with high-flow oxygen facility in all Covid hospitals, conduct more tests and fast-track their results at a cost of Rs 207 crore.
"The city has been divided into red, orange and yellow zones in commensurate with the number of Covid cases in them for containing the virus spread on war footing," said the official.
Of the 2,228 new cases in the state on Thursday, Bengaluru accounted for 1,373, taking its Covid tally to 13,882, including 10,870 active cases, after 2,834 were discharged, with 606 in the day, while 177 people have succumbed to the virus since March 9.
"The containment zones are concentrated more in the city's southern and western suburbs. Active cases doubled over the last 8 days and shot up to a whopping 12,509 from 4,555 on June 30," the official added.