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To counter Covid third wave, Karnataka prepares a ₹1,500-cr plan to upgrade rural hospitals

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on June 07, 2021

CN Ashwathanarayan, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister   -  Somashekar GRN

To provide maximum health facilities at the taluk level and district headquarters.

The Karnataka’s Covid Task Force, to prepare the state for the possible Covid third wave, has approved ₹1,500 crore plan to upgrade 149 taluk hospitals and 19 district hospitals in the state barring Bengaluru city.

Addressing reporters after a lengthy Covid Task Force meeting on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister & State Covid Task Force head Dr C N Ashwathanarayan said this up-gradation plan has been fixed with maximum timelines of three months.

“The government also intends to provide maximum health facilities at the taluk level itself and create up to 97 per cent of health services in district headquarters. Out of the estimated ₹1,500 crore, around ₹800 crore will be needed for infrastructure, and the remaining ₹600-700 crore is needed towards salary expenses which will be recurring every year,” he added.

Recruitment

“This up-gradation will require the appointment of about 4,000 doctors, 2-3 nurses per each doctor and other staff. Diagnostic facilities will also be augmented across the state correspondingly. District hospitals will have a minimum of 100 beds all oxygenated (25 ICU with ventilators, 25 HDU beds, 50 normal oxygenated beds) and taluk hospitals will have a minimum of 25 oxygenated beds,” he further said.

As per the National Skill Commission’s decision, six skills have been listed under Covid management support skills, and in Karnataka, 5,000 members who have passed class 10 and 12 is planned for this program.

“They will be given training for three months and a stipend of ₹5,000 per month will be paid for each trainee. There is a huge demand for these verticals and they are required in 108 ambulance services, basic life-supporting hospitals and nursing assistants,” Dr Ashwathanarayan said.

Declining Covid cases

Replying to a query on declining Covid cases, he said “Even if the numbers of cases decline, the triaging centres and Covid Care Centres need to be kept in an operational state till all people get at least one dose of vaccination. That is they need to remain functional till the month of December.”

With regard to augmenting the health facilities in the Bengaluru city (BBMP limits), finding the land/space required is the prominent task and for this Chief Commissioner of BBMP has been asked to find the suitable lands/spaces within a timeline of two weeks.

The vaccination drive is being in progress and every day six lakh people are getting jabbed. “This month the state will be receiving around 80 lakh vaccines and this will be further increased in the coming months. Around 51 percent in the age group above 45 years have been vaccinated,” said Dr Ashwathanarayan.

Other Key Decisions taken in the meeting were: To keep buffer stock of five lakh vials of Remdesivir, to procure drugs for treating black fungus, integrated App linked with the War Room to monitor entire State’s Covid Management with seamless information flow, to oxygenate 7,300 beds in medical college hospitals within three months, medical college hospitals should have 20 KL oxygen storage capacity, to set up seven genome sequencing labs (including four in district hospitals), to fund ₹20 crore to establish facilities in 10 more hospitals (five district and 5 medical college hospitals) to make them enable to treat black fungus, approval to purchase CT scanners for Shivamogga and Bidar.

Published on June 07, 2021

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