Karnataka mulls more steps to contain Covid-19 spread
July 02 2020 01:25 AM
Medical staff hand over certificates and flowers to a patient who recovered from Covid-19 after their discharge at a hospital in Siliguri, West Bengal yesterday.


With the Coronavirus cases surging, Karnataka will have more measures to contain its spread in the state, especially in Bengaluru, which accounts for 26% of the infections, a minister said yesterday.
“More measures will be taken after the chief minister consults health experts on containing the virus spread in the state and Bengaluru since unlock 1.0 began a month ago,” Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar told reporters here.
According to a task force of health experts, set up by the state government in March to recommend measures in fighting the virus outbreak, positive cases across the state and Bengaluru will spike in the coming weeks to peak by August and hopefully reduce by September.
“Positive cases have been spiking across the state, especially in Bengaluru due to infected people coming from high-risk states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat since lockdown-3 was lifted and inter-state travel was permitted,” Sudhakar said.
Though Karnataka fared better than other states in containing the virus spread since its outbreak in mid-March, positive cases have been rising over a month when the state government began unlock 1.0 from June 1.
According to the latest health bulletin, a record 1,272 patients tested positive in the last 24 hours, taking the southern state’s Covid-19 tally to 16,514, including 8,194 active cases and 253 so far.
With 145 cases discharged in the day, 8,063 patients have been cured across the state so far.
“More Covid care centres are being set up to treat asymptomatic patients in state-run and private hospitals across the state,” the minister said.
The experts, however, suggested that asymptomatic patients and patients with mild symptoms could be kept under home isolation and monitored remotely to reduce the burden of cases on hospitals.
“Priority will be given to patients with severe symptoms and comorbidities for Covid treatment to reduce the doubling rate,” said Sudhakar.
The task force has also advised the state government to strictly enforce wearing mask, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing by the people.
“People should be stay home longer, avoid crowded areas, wear mask and keep at least 2m physical distance from others when outside home or office,” the experts said.
“Telemedicine should be used to treat more patients. More personnel should be deployed for contact tracing by deputing staff from other departments in the field. More doctors have to be trained in using tele-ICU and ensure 24x7 supply of oxygen and medicines in all hospitals,” the experts told the minister.
They also told the minister to create awareness among the people about the nature of the virus and allay their fears about the infection.
Meanwhile, the health department has issued a notice to nine private hospitals in Bengaluru for refusing treatment to a 52-year-old man with Covid symptoms who later died, an official said yesterday.
“You are required to reply to the show cause (notice) within 24 hours as to why action should not be initiated against you under the provisions of KMPE and State Disaster Management Act,” Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey told the private hospitals.

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