BENGALURU: With the rising number of Covid cases, Karnataka has put forth a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doubling the number of undergraduate and post-graduate medical seats in the state from 12,000 to 24,000 and to help set up liquid oxygen plants at major hospitals.
During the video conference with the PM, State Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, who was filling in for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa who is under home quarantine, said, “If we get one liquid oxygen plant for each major hospital, it will greatly help in better ICU management and bringing down the death rate. The increase in the number of trained medicos will act as a buffer in emergencies.’’ The death rate in Bengaluru stands at 1.7 per cent, while it is 1.8 per cent in the state, against the national average of 1.99 per cent, he pointed out.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and Dr Sudhakar and later told the media that the PM specified that whenever there is a fresh Covid case, the primary and secondary contacts should be mandatorily traced and identified within three days, which can help bring down mortality rates.
Dr Sudhakar also added that in addition to doubling medical seats, they are also seeking that a medical student compul sorily do a one-year stint in rural areas.
Conducting the exams for the final-year medical students will make more trained medical professionals available,he added.Karnataka’s request to double the number of medical seats found support from neighbouring Telangana, where Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao too emphasised that having more trained medical graduates will help.
Sudhakar also told the PM that the number of testing labs will be increased to 100 by the end of August from a mere two in the beginning of March, and the number of tests will be increased to 75,000 per day from the present 50,000 tests.
The number of ambulances have increased from 800 to 2,000. Booth-level teams have fanned out to spread awareness, identify those with SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections) and ILI (Influenza-Like Illness) symptoms, test them and trace their contacts, he added.