From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Apr 16: The present night curfew imposed in Bengaluru, Mangalore, Udupi-Manipal and other cities in Karnataka to contain the spike in Covid infection cases will be continued till April 20 as announced earlier and adopting the next course of action on continuing the night curfew or extending it to other districts or enforcing other restrictions will be taken on April 20, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after holding a marathon meeting with the State’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar as well as other senior officials and experts of the Technical Advisory Committee on Covid management in his Home Office of Cauvery in Bengaluru for over an hour and half, Yediyurappa said the State Government was fully seized of the situation and will take all steps to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Answering questions from reporters, the Chief Minister said the State Government was fully aware of the surge in cases in the last four to five days and made it clear that Karnataka cannot be compared with other States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan or Delhi which have announced more strict measures.
The Chief Minister said the State Government will also consult Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the next course of action to be taken to contain the spread of the Covid pandemic. All other decisions pertaining to Covid management will be taken on April 20, when the present restrictions of night curfew in 10 cities will end.
In a major decision taken at today’s meeting, the Chief Minister said the private and corporate sector hospitals have been asked to set up ‘’temporary hospitals’’ in hotels by entering into agreements with the hotels in their neighbourhood for the treatment of cases with mild symptoms. The Covid patients with serious symptoms and conditions will be admitted and provided treatment in the regular hospitals.
The private hospitals have been asked to reserve 50% of beds to the patients admitted by the State Government with immediate effect. As many as 5,000 beds will be reserved in all private medical college hospitals.
The government medical college hospitals will reserve 1000 beds for the treatment of Covid patients in addition to 1000 beds in the government hospitals.
The Chief Minister said Covid patients in critical or serious conditions will be provided treatment only in the hospitals while all other patients including those without Covid symptoms will be provided treatment in the temporary treatment facilities. The patients will treated in hospitals as per the need and those who get recovered will be discharged immediately to ensure that the beds were made available for treating other cases, he said.
The meeting also decided to depute one each IPS and IAS officer along with those from BWSSB, BESCOM and Suvarna Arogya Trust as nodal officers in all private hospitals to monitor the treatment of patients.
The Chief Minister explained that Karnataka does not have shortage of oxygen cylinders at present. However, the government will ask the Centre to ensure supply of 5,000 oxygen cylinders. In addition, urgent steps will be taken to procure jumbo cylinders in order to avoid the need for frequent changes in cylinders. Oxygen production units will be established in the government hospitals too, he said.
Steps have also been taken to establish oxygen production units in the medical colleges, Yediyurappa said.
Karnataka has sufficient stocks of Remdesivir drug for the treatment of Covid patients. However, the government has already taken steps to invite tenders for procuring additional doses of the medicine.
Free Ambulance Service, Free of Cost Cremation
The Chief Minister announced that a total of 400 ambulances will be reserved for free service for the Covid patients in Bengaluru while steps will be taken to provide ambulances of 108 service to be deployed free of cost in Bengaluru city and also in all district headquarters as per the need.
In addition, the Chief Minister said the State Government will reserve 49 ambulances for transporting the dead bodies of Covid patients in Bengaluru city and also ensure that cremation is done free of cost in the creamatoriums in the city order to save the people from the troubles of extortion or excess demands from the staff.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will get all its zonal officers and control rooms equipped to provide round-the-clock service to Covid patients and appoint experienced persons to man the control rooms.
The State Government will take immediate steps to appoint doctors and nurses for the treatment of Covid patients on temporary short term contracts.
The Chief Minister said steps will be taken to intensify contact tracing and stamping of all patients under home isolation. In addition, steps will be taken to provide testing reports within 24 hours of the testing and also take measures to minimize the period for providing testing reports.
Strict measures will be taken to prevent unnecessary gathering and crowding of people and also strictly enforce containment and micro containment zones, Yediyurappa said.