Karnataka directs medical colleges to prepare for possible third Covid wave

Venkatesha Babu | | Updated on: Dec 03, 2021
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18,000 nurses, paramedical staff to be given one month of training

Even as concerns mounted about 57 travellers from high-risk countries who have gone missing after furnishing false phone numbers and incorrect addresses, the Karnataka government said it is taking all measures to combat a possible third wave.

Among the 57 untraced are 10 South Africa nationals who arrived in the country between November 12 to 22 and are now not traceable, with their phones switched off, and having furnished either false or incorrect addresses.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government said it is taking several measures to tackle a possible third Covid wave. This includes providing month-long training for 18,000 additional nurses and ramping up paediatric ICUs. Medical colleges across the state have been instructed to make necessary preparations for a possible third Covid wave, according to Dr K Sudhakar, Minister of Health and Medical Education.

Following a video conference meeting with directors of medical colleges on a possible third wave and the new Omicron virus, the Health Minister told presspersons 21 medical colleges offer health services at the district level. Everyone, including the HOD, Professors, and senior doctors have been advised to ensure effective treatment. They can also avail of the help of resident doctors, and final-year medical students, the Minister said.

A shortage of nurses in ICUs, which was felt during the first and second waves, has been solved. About 18,000 students in the final year of nursing and paramedical courses would join the workforce soon. Officials have been asked to provide them one-month of training in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and other institutions, said Dr Sudhakar.

Officials have also been instructed to prepare ICUs for children. "We have got information on all necessary equipment and other systems that is required. Issues raised by institutions have also been addressed and solutions provided, the minister added.

Responding to resident doctors going on strike due to non-payment of Covid risk allowance, the minister said the issue was being resolved. Covid risk allowance to the tune of Rs 55 crore for resident doctors, which was pending, has been released by the finance department. The total amount (Covid risk allowance) required is nearly Rs 73 crore and it will be credited to the concerned account within a couple of days, Dr Sudhakar added.

"We were facing some technical glitches to credit salaries. Institutions have taken twenty days to register in HRMS. From December onwards, salaries will be directly credited to their bank accounts," the Minister informed the reporters.

As per the advice of the Covid Technical Committee, a special ICU and ward will be provided for the Omicron infected. Those who are infected with Delta will be treated in a separate ward. The number of beds and ICUs to be reserved will be decided soon, he said.

Priority has been given to trace the 57 passengers from high-risk countries. "In the past, our police department has done a good job of tracking down those who have escaped. Our police will track them all. But I urge the passengers to act responsibly and with social concern," Dr Sudhakar added.

Published on December 03, 2021

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