BENGALURU: Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar has been given full control of managing the COVID-19 crisis in Karnataka, besides continuing with his portfolio. B Sriramulu will continue as health minister, but is relieved of COVID-19 responsibilities.
On Tuesday, the governor issued a notification with changes in the duties of the ministers. The change is meant to end confusion and ensure well-coordinated efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Sources said that as the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state is increasing, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is keen to avoid confusion among the two ministers, as it could impact the state’s fight against the spread of the virus. It is a crucial stage with the administration ramping up the healthcare system and taking preventive measures.
The CM took the decision after Sriramulu and Sudhakar indulged in one-upmanship over the crisis, sources said. When contacted, Sriramulu said that he would continue to head the Task Force constituted by Yediyurappa, comprising the health minister, medical education minister, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Deputy CM Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, to take stock of the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis. Sriramulu, however, said he was not aware of the reasons for the CM making changes in their responsibilities.
Sriramulu had visited several places, including Kalaburagi, Mangaluru and other towns to oversee measures being taken to contain spread of the virus, and also inaugurated a war room in Bengaluru. On Monday, Sriramulu had stated that the health department was planning to launch an app to create awareness. Sources said the CM’s decision to keep him away from the COVID-19 crisis management has not gone down well with Sriramulu.
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