Bengaluru: The Centre on Wednesday suggested that Karnataka concentrate more on nine districts where the most number of COVID-19 deaths have been recorded, even as the state said the increase in number of tests was helping it to bring down positivity and case fatality steadily.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa stated this while taking part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with CMs of seven states that have high prevalence of COVID-19 cases and briefed him on the steps taken to control the virus.
A statement by the Chief Minister’s Office said the Centre stated that Karnataka has been conducting tests in a scientific way, and asked it to increase surveillance and RTPCR tests threefold. It also asked the state to concentrate more on nine districts where the highest number of deaths have been recorded.
Mission mode approach in the next six months, strict enforcement in containment zones and dynamically redefining them and re-testing of all symptomatic negatives of antigen tests are among the suggestions the Centre gave the state.
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Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar and Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar were among those present at the meeting. Yediyurappa said the increase in the number of tests was helping the state steadily bring down positivity and case fatality. From having the highest fatality rate of 2.6 per cent between July 13 and 19, the fatality rate has been steadily coming down, he said.
Presently, Karnatakas case death rate stands at 1.54 per cent, whereas, in the last one week, the death rate was only 1.3 per cent, he said,adding it would soon be brought down to less than 1 per cent as per the goal set by the PM.
The Chief Minister said testing facilities have been ramped up substantially and the state now has 136 laboratories and testing has been increased to about 70,000 samples per day. So far more than 43 lakh samples have been tested.
A target has been set to identify all contacts of positive cases within 24 to 48 hours and quarantine them, he said. Noting that Karnataka has set up a Committee to give us protocol of clinical management, Yediyurappa said it regularly goes through recommendations of the Centre and ICMR and suggests the treatment protocol for the state. At present, the third version of the recommendation was being implemented in Karnataka, he said.
“Besides giving normal medicines, we ensure that patients are given Novel Drugs for free, though these are expensive. We are maintaining continuous supply of all the medicines, including medicines like Remdesivir,” he said.
“Highlighting the importance of having Oxygenated beds, ICUs and Ventilators to treat critical COVID patients,he said the state had about 7,000 such beds in government hospitals when the disease started This has been increased to about 18,000, of which 10,000 have been reserved for COVID-19 patients, he said Apart from this, another 4,250 oxygenated beds have been reserved for COVID patients in private hospitals,” he said.
Karnataka has reserved 1,811 ICU beds in Government Hospitals and another 1269 in private hospitals for COVID patients, he said, adding that once the work of oxygenation of beds was over, the state would have more than 31,000 such beds in Government Hospitals alone. State-level and District level teams of senior officers have been set up to ensure oxygen is transported to needy hospitals across the state in time, Yediyurappa said, adding that permission to convert Industrial oxygen cylinders as Medical cylinders has also been issued. Work on increasing storage capacity in hospitals which have a deficiency has been taken up on a war footing, he said.