204 passengers from UK untraceable in Bengaluru’s city limits: Health Minister

Our Bureau. Bengaluru | Updated on December 29, 2020

Of the 1,587 passengers from the UK tested for Covid-19, 26 had tested positive

About 204 passengers, who returned from the United Kingdom, are untraceable in Bengaluru’s BBMP limits.

The Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar told reporters that till Sunday, out of 1,587 passengers from the UK tested for Covid-19, 26 had tested positive.

Dr Sudhakar, on Monday, held an extensive meeting with state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and other senior officials to chalk-out a plan to track down the untraceable returnees from the UK, who have switched off their phones.

“The home department has assured us that in the next two days, they will track down these UK passengers. We have already provided them all the details and contact numbers,” the minister said, and added that by not getting tested, these passengers are not only endangering their own health, but are also risking others.

Also read: One in 85 test positive for coronavirus in England as cases spike

Talking about restrictions for the New Year celebration, Dr Sudhakar said, “It is a matter of concern for both the Health and Home Departments. We are to come up with a roadmap to celebrate the New Year in a simple manner.”

At the ministers’ meeting, Covid-19 restrictions were broadly discussed and a need for detailed guidelines is planned. “Guidelines are to be issued by the Home Department. Guidelines are to be issued both to Bengaluru city and for other parts of the state.”

Later in the day, speaking after inaugurating the ‘Arogya Soudha’, the health minister said, “The state government is working towards reforming the public healthcare system in the state despite the financial crunch due to the pandemic. Our aim is to build a medical college in every district.”

“In the last one-and-half years, the chief minister has approved four new medical colleges, out of which three are already functioning. Tomorrow, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences will be inaugurated,” he said.

There are 18 government medical colleges in the state. However, nine districts have no government medical college. The government is planning to construct medical colleges in these nine districts also under PPP or other suitable models. There will also be district hospitals and super speciality hospitals attached to these colleges, the minister said.

“Our government has shown its commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, there were only about 5,000 to 6,000 oxygenated beds. In the last few months, we have increased it to about 30,000 beds. Special allowance is being given to corona warriors, doctors and frontline staff at a cost of ₹125 crore, the minister added.

Published on December 29, 2020

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