Increase in COVID-19 cases: Karnataka Govt to scale up testing

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Increase in COVID-19 cases: Karnataka Govt to scale up testing
Bengaluru, June 16 () With increasing number of COVID- 19 infections in the state, the Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to scale up testing and extensively test those who are vulnerable.

"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," Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

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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 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 in order to facilitate monitoring of asymptomatic cases.

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

The 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, adding that this would 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 the fight against COVID-19, he said strict action will be taken against hospitals which refuse to treat Covid patients despite having capacity.

Detailed guidelines will soon be released regarding the number of beds, Intensive Care Units and ventilators to be reserved for treatment of covid cases, the Minister added.

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Sudhakar on Monday had said that private hospitals will be roped in to treat COVID patients and the rates will be fixed for everything, from testing to treatment. KSU APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH
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