BENGALURU: Karnataka will take all steps to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suggestions to bring the COVID-19 spread under control, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
The state has also placed several requests before the the Prime Minister including doubling of graduate and post graduate medical seats and setting up of liquid oxygen plants as part of COVID management.
Speaking to reporters after attending the video conference by Modi along with Chief Ministers of 10 states to discuss COVID-19 situation, he said, these states constitute more than 80 per cent of the six lakh active cases in the country, and containing it here will be crucial in fight against the pandemic.
Sudhakar said, appreciating the measures taken by the state governments, the prime minister has asked them to identify primary and secondary contacts within 72 hours after a COVID infection is reported, to bring the virus spread under control,besides setting a target to bring down the death rate below 1 per cent.
"We have planned to implement the suggestions given by the prime minister in Karnataka," he said.
The COVID-19 death rate in the country is about 1.99 per cent, while in Karnataka it is 1.8 per cent, and in Bengaluru it is 1.7 per cent.
Modi today interacted with Chief Ministers and representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh via video conference to discuss the current situation and plan ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the absence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is currently under home isolation after undergoing treatment for coronavirus, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan and Sudhakar attended the meeting.
Stating certain requests have been put forth by the state before the prime minister, Sudhakar said "we have sought immediate starting of course for final year medical and para medical students, so that they can be used for COVID related activities, if not at designated hospitals.
We have also asked for doubling of the degree and post graduate medical seats from 10,000 to 20,000 and from 2,000 to 4,000 respectively, and also to bring in an amendment to laws or issue guidelines making one year government service compulsory for them, after the completion of course.
" "Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao also reiterated our suggestions for increasing medical seats, to fight not only COVID but other diseases also in the days to come," he said.
The number of medical professionals should be adequate to meet the requirements of the population, he added.
Pointing out that there was a shortage in the supply of liquid oxygen with the increase in demand, the minister said the state government has sought the centre's cooperation in setting up of liquid oxygen plants.
Sudhakar said Modi was informed about the measures taken by the state to control the pandemic, including increasing the number of testing labs from two in March to 100 by August besides increasing the number of tests from 20,000 per day to 50,000, and further enhance it to 75,000 soon.
The prime minister was also informed about the formation of a booth level task force with a task to quarantine,spreading awareness, identifying contacts, conducting door to door surveys, among others.
Information on free treatment by government and treatment by fixing price at private hospitals were also shared.
During the meeting, the state said by the end of September 20,000 beds will have oxygen support installed.
Other points shared included number of ambulances being increased from 800 to 2000, and Rs 6,65,00,000 fine collected and 2,05,029 FIRs booked for violating COVID guidelines, Sudhakar said.