Udayavni Special

Karnataka to scale up testing for COVID-19


Team Udayavani, Jun 17, 2020, 7:53 AM IST

Bengaluru: With increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the state, Karnataka on Tuesday decided to scale up testing and to extensively test those who are vulnerable, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.

“Due to an increase in cases in the last two weeks, the government is trying to scale up testing to 15,000 to 25,000 samples per day,” Sudhakar was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

People in crowded areas, pourakarmikas (civic workers), street vendors, healthcare workers, police and all other people who are in the frontline will be tested extensively, he said.

It has also been decided to mandatorily test all those who have symptoms of Influenza-like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), he said, adding that also those in old containment zones will also be tested randomly to see if there is a community spread or relapse infection.

There are 71 labs in the state, of which 41 are government and 30 are private.

The minister said, COVID care centres will be established to facilitate monitoring of asymptomatic cases.

“An expert committee has been formed to advise on the type of treatment and care required for cases in different stages.

BBMP (city civic body) commissioner has been directed to ensure that 20,000 beds are available in Covid Care Centres in Bengaluru city,” he said. This will reduce the burden on hospitals and ensure that beds are available for those who need it.

With increasing cases, Sudhakar today held detailed deliberations with senior officials and experts on best practices and effective steps being taken by other states.

Stating that private hospitals should act with utmost responsibility and proactively participate in this fight against COVID-19, he said strict action will be taken against hospitals which refuse to treat COVID-19 patients despite having capability.

Detailed guidelines will soon be released on the number of beds, ICUs and ventilators to be reserved for treatment of coronavirus cases, the minister added.

Sudhakar on Monday had said private hospitals will be roped in to treat COVID-19 patients in the state and rates will be fixed for everything from- testing to treatment.

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