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‘PM Said It’s An Individual Responsibility’: Karnataka Minister Refuses To Wear Mask

Karnataka minister Umesh Katti refused to wear a mask at a public event and said he was "not interested".

Published: January 19, 2022 7:59 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

'PM Said It's An Individual Responsibility': Karnataka Minister Refuses To Wear Mask
Karnataka Forest Minister Umesh Katti attended a function organised by the Forest Department without wearing a mask. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: Karnataka minister Umesh Katti flouted COVID-19 protocols issued by the government and refused to wear a mask at a public event. The minister also defended his decision to not wear a mask and said he was “not interested”. When reporters questioned him on shunning of mask, Umesh Katti said,”The PM has said that no restriction will be imposed & that it (wearing face mask) is an individual responsibility. Whoever wishes to wear a mask can do so. I am not interested in wearing it so I haven’t. It is my individual decision.”

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Umesh Katti, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, is the current Minister of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Forest in the state.

Karnataka minister Umesh Katti’s remarks come at a time when several states imposed fresh restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases. Many people across the country were fined for flouting COVID protocols and not sporting mask at public events. Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had urged everyone to follow COVID guidelines and wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Act against BJP leaders for flouting COVID norms: Karnataka Congress

Congress Karnataka president D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said his party will not sit quiet until action is taken against ruling BJP leaders, who violated COVID-19 curbs.

Faced by multiple FIRs against its leaders for organising padayatra demanding implementation of Mekedatu project, in violation of COVID restrictions, the Congress party has been demanding similar action against BJP leaders, who allegedly indulged in similar acts.

“We are not meeting (CM), I’m waiting for Siddaramaiah (Congress Legislature Party leader), he has gone to Mysuru, we will do what ever fight we need to…I’m writing a letter to the Chief Secretary to take action, our leaders will give it to him and the DGP,” Shivakumar said.

Pointing out that several FIRs have been booked against him, Siddaramaiah and several other Congress leaders, Shivakumar in the letter has listed several instances of ‘COVID curbs violation’ by BJP leaders including events attended by Aland MLA Subhash Guttedar, Honnali MLA M P Renukacharya, Minister B Sriramulu, among others.

What is the COVID situation in Karnataka

Karnataka on Tuesday registered yet another spike logging 41,457 new cases of COVID-19, and 20 fatalities, taking the tally to 32,88,700 and the death toll to 38,465. The state, which has been witnessing a steady surge in cases since the last week of December, had recorded 27,156 fresh infections on Monday, while it was 34,047 on Sunday.

Of the new cases today, 25,595 were from Bengaluru Urban that saw 4,514 people being discharged and 7 deaths. The total number of active cases across the state is now 2,50,381. There were 8,353 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries to 29,99,825, a health department bulletin said. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 22.30 per cent, the case fatality rate (CFR) was 0.04 per cent.

Of the 20 deaths, seven are from Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru (3), Tumakuru (2), and one each from Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajnagara, Chitradurga, Davangere, Dharwad, Hassan, Ramanagara and Uttara Kannada.

Apart from Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru recorded the second highest of 1,848 new cases, Hassan 1,739, Tumakuru 1,731,Bengaluru Rural 1,116, and Dakshina Kannada 1,058.

Bengaluru Urban district now has a total of 14,58,349 positive cases, followed by Mysuru 1,90,462 and Tumakuru 1,29,765. According to the bulletin, Bengaluru Urban tops the list among discharges with 12,63,555, followed by Mysuru 1,79,623 and Tumakuru 1,20,659.

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Published Date: January 19, 2022 7:59 AM IST