Amid the nationwide vaccination drive across the country, the Karnataka government has declared journalists as frontline workers. “Journalists will be administered vaccine on a priority basis,” Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said after a cabinet meeting in Bengaluru.

Karnataka is now among the few states that have announced free vaccination for journalists. Earlier Punjab, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh had declared journalists as ‘frontline workers’.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting held in Bengaluru Tuesday evening. Apart from this, Yediyurappa has directed district in-charge ministers to oversee the provision of oxygen, beds, Remdesivir and other requirements in their respective districts.

Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar has been appointed the in-charge of Oxygen Centres. He will coordinate with the central government to ensure there is no shortage of oxygen, Yediyurappa told reporters.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwathnarayan has been asked to coordinate with all medical colleges in the state and ensure that there is no shortage of Remdesivir injection and human resources.

“Home minister Basavaraj Bommai and Revenue Minister R Ashoka will look into the requirement of beds in government and private hospitals. Forests Minister Arvind Limbavali will be in charge of various war rooms and call centres,” he added.

It was also decided at the cabinet meeting that the state government will coordinate with the Centre for increased supply of Remdesivir.

Meanwhile, the government has discussed with the Centre on the use of oxygen supplied by Karnataka’s Zindal company for the state as the number of Covid cases in neighbouring Maharashtra has dropped, informed Yediyurappa.

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