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Covid times: Muted start to Dasara festivities in Karnataka

Express News Service

MYSURU: The famed Dasara festivities, which have a history of four centuries, was inaugurated with strict Covid-19 protocols on Saturday. Opening the nine-day festivities atop Chamundi Hills by offering flowers to the bedecked idol of the presiding deity Chamundeshwari, placed in a silver chariot, noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath said,

“I pray to the goddess for a Covid vaccine, health of citizens and relief for the state from the flood.” Dr Manjunath, who is also part of the government’s high-level committee on Covid-19 management, spoke at length about the need to defeat the virus to mark the victory of good over evil, which is the essence of the Navarathri festival.

Manjunath said opening the Dasara festivities was “one of the most precious moments” of his life. He said it was a token of appreciation to the medical fraternity which has lost 500 doctors, 700 nurses and several paramedical staff to the pandemic. He also urged the government to give letters of  appreciation to all those involved in Covid-19 duties.

“The government must consider the doctors who lost their lives while fighting the virus, as martyrs. It’s unfortunate that the lifespan of doctors working under stress has been reduced by 10 years,” he said. 
He appealed to people not to target doctors or damage hospitals as they are striving hard to provide the best healthcare in such difficult times. Stating that there is no protection for doctors in rural areas, he suggested that the government separate education and health from the purview of zilla panchayats.

‘BSY is also a Covid warrior’
Thanking the government for felicitating six Covid warriors, including a pourakarmika, a doctor, an ASHA worker, a social worker and a policeman on the occasion, Dr Manjunath said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is no less a Covid warrior as he has held nearly 400 meetings without even caring for his own health.

The director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research said that the government has done its best, he pointed out that it has set up 150 labs and is conducting one lakh tests every day. However, with the number of positive cases coming down to 7,000 mark, he felt that it’s a good sign.

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