Lauding Karnataka for conducting Covid tests in a scientific way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told the southern state to increase surveillance and ramp up testing to check the pandemic.
"Increase surveillance and ramp-up RT-PCR tests to three-fold. Focus more on nine districts which have the highest number of deaths," Modi told state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa during a video conference from New Delhi.
Advocating a mission mode approach over the next six months, Modi called for strict enforcement in containment zones across the state to check the virus spread.
"Re-test all symptomatic negative results of anti-gen tests and ensure wide publicity on precautionary measures through the media," he said.
Advising the state to regularly monitor those who are in home isolation after testing Covid positive and under treatment for being asymptomatic, Modi told Yediyurappa to organise awareness programmes on Covid-19 across the state.
"Jeevan bhi aur jeevika bhi (graded opening of economic activities after ensuring adequate testing and hospital infrastructure), asserted Modi.
State Health Minister B. Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaya Bhaskar and Additional Chief Secretary E.V. Ramana Reddy participated in the two-hour long meeting at the Chief Minister's office in the city centre.
Though new cases have been moderating of late and recoveries increasing, the state ranks second after Maharashtra across the country in terms of active cases at 94,652 till date, while 5,40,847 have been infected since March 8 when the pandemic broke.
With 5,460 discharged during the day across the state, 4,37,910 patients have been treated so far, while the death toll has gone up to 8,266 till date, including 38 in the last 24 hours.
The state has registered 6,997 new cases in the last 24 hours.
As the epicentre of the communicable disease, Bengaluru has registered a whopping 2,04,275 positive cases till date, including 39,971 active cases and 3,547 new cases in the last 24 hours. With 3,536 discharged in the day, 1,61,565 have been treated so far, while 2,738 succumbed to the infection since March 8, including 23 during the day.
Briefing the Prime Minister on slew of measures the state government has taken to fight the coronavirus, Yediyurappa said testing have been ramped up to 70,000 samples per day and 43 lakh at 136 labs across the state so far.
"The fleet of ambulances has been increased to 2,000 from 800 to rush symptomatic positive patients to hospitals at the earliest after knowing their results. All contacts of positive cases are identified within 24-48 hours to quarantine them," the Chief Minister told PM Modi.
Noting that ramping-up tests was helping the state to reduce positivity, Yediyurappa said the case fatality rate was at 1.54 per cent and the death rate only 1.3 per cent.
"Fatality rate will be reduced to less than 1 per cent, the goal the Prime Minister had set for all states," said a statement from the Chief Minister's office on the outcome of the video conferencing.
Besides normal medicines, the Covid patients are given 'Novel Drugs' for free though expensive.
"The number of oxygenated beds have been increased to 18,000 from 7,000 in state-run hospitals and 10,000 general bed have been reserved for Covid patients in state-run and private hospitals in the state," Yediyurappa said.
Similarly, 1,811 ICU (intensive care unit) beds have been reserved in the state-run hospitals and 1,269 in private hospitals for Covid patients.
The state government has given permission to convert industrial oxygen cylinders for medical purpose to ensure its supply to needy hospitals across the state in time.
"Liquid oxygen for medical purposes is 375 tonne per day, while the peak demand is 870 metric tonne a day across the state," he added.
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