Karnataka CM on Friday held a meeting with the top ministers of the state to discuss the ongoing pandemic and management of COVID-19 in Karnataka and Bengaluru. He also spoke to the BBMP zonal ministers regarding the way forward.
Noting the many grievances of the people, CM Yediyurappa addressed many once again calling for stricter action from the top. However, on the ground things still seem rather unpleasant.
Highlights from the COVID-19 management meeting
During the meeting, the Karnataka CM addressed issues such as the shortage of hospital staff and doctors. He also spoke about the hospital bed availability issue and the lack of ambulances. In the meeting with the eight zonal ministers, the revenue minister R Ashok, Home Minister Basvaraj Bommai and others, the CM asked for stricter action on violations.
He made it clear that an extension of lockdown shouldn't be expected. The meetings come as COVID-19 cases in the state inch crossed the 51,000-mark.
Here are some of the major points that came up shared by the CM's Office:
- Regarding those infected by COVID-19 facing difficulties in hospital admissions, there needs to be a strict and disciplined approach to admit them.
- Hold meetings with the private hospitals and make sure that both COVID and non-COVID patients both get treatment at hospitals.
- Asymptomatic patients should be admitted to COVID care centres or placed under home quarantine so serious and critical cases can get medical treatment at hospitals.
- Conduct rapid antigen testing on all infected persons dead at hospitals and immediately hand over the dead body or according to customs conduct their last rites. For those who've died at home, conduct antigen testing and arrange for their last rites.
- To control COVID-19, a lockdown isn't the solution, the government has no plans of extending the lockdown.
- To combat the issue of shortage of doctors at hospitals, recruitment is on.
- In every ward, volunteers have been identified and ambulances arranged.
- If private hospitals don't allot beds, strict action to be taken.
- Information on the availability of beds and COVID-affected people at private hospitals should be managed through volunteers and nodal officers.
- In every ward marriage halls and guesthouses have been identified for those who don't have a place to stay.
- Increase COVID testing in the state.
- In crowded places and public places, police need to be deployed in larger numbers.
- Within 2 hours of receiving test results, beds should be allotted. An ambulance should be arranged to take them to the hospital and this system should be decentralised.
- People above the age of 65 with symptoms should be given priority in the bed allotment process. Asymptomatic patients should be registered for COVID care centres.
While the CM is holding meetings and is asserting better policy and management, there seems to be a gap in what's happening on the ground. As more people complain of lack of medical assistance and disorganization the government still has much to answer for as the crisis deepens.