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Only God can save us: Karnataka health minister’s remark sparks row

Jul 16, 2020 15:41 IST

PTI, Bengaluru: With Karnataka witnessing a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases, its Health Minister B Sriramulu has said only God can save the state, insisting that public cooperation was key to controlling the spread of the pandemic. The Minister's statement in Chitradurga on Wednesday came in response to the opposition Congress' charge of the government failing to tackle coronavirus spread, but he later claimed his remarks were 'misinterpreted' by a section of the media. Hitting out at the BS Yediyurappa government over the health minister's remarks, Congress's DK Shivakumar tweeted: "Karnataka's Health Minister saying "Only God can save Karnataka" reflects poorly on @BSYBJP govt's ability to handle the CoVID crisis. Why do we need such a govt if they cannot tackle the pandemic? This govt's incompetency has left citizens to god's mercy." "Tell me whose hand it is (to control the disease). Only God has to save us all. Awareness among people is the only way. In such a situation, the Congress leaders have stooped to the lowest level of politics. It doesn't suit anybody," Sriramulu told reporters on Wednesday. He was replying to Opposition charges, especially by Congress state chief D K Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who accused the government of failing to control the coronavirus spread due to lack of coordination and differences between ministers, mainly between Sriramulu and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar. The Health Minister said the disease, spreading across the country and warranting extreme caution in the next two months, does not differentiate between ruling and opposition members. The opposition's charges that the government was careless and 'irresponsibility' of ministers or differences between them was leading to a spike in the infections were far from the truth, he asserted. However, Sriramulu later sought to clarify that the intention behind his statement on Wednesday was that till the time a vaccine was developed to tackle the contagion, only God has to save all while people's cooperation was important. "I had said that besides people's cooperation, God should also protect us but some media interpreted that Sriramulu has become helpless with respect to coronavirus spread," he said in a late night video message on Wednesday. "My intention behind saying so was that till the time a vaccine comes, it is only God who can save us. It should not be wrongly interpreted," he added. Karnataka has been witnessing a spurt in Covid-19 cases and on Wednesday reported the highest single day spike of 3,176 infections. The state's overall tally stood at 47,253 till Wednesday with 928 fatalities. The total cases include 18,466 discharges and 27,853 active cases, according to the Health department.


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