STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Karnataka short on infrastructure and manpower to tackle coronavirus: Experts

A recent Global Health Security Index-2019 report puts India in the 57th place out of 195 countries, with a score of 46.5 out of 100 in terms of preparedness for an epidemic outbreak.

Published: 03rd February 2020 02:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2020 04:58 AM   |  A+A-

Medical workers in protective suits move a coronavirus patient into an isolation ward at the Second People's Hospital in Fuyang in central China's Anhui Province, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Photo | AP)

Medical workers in protective suits move a coronavirus patient into an isolation ward at the Second People's Hospital in Fuyang in central China's Anhui Province, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka will be found wanting in case of an outbreak of communicable diseases like Novel Coronavirus (nCoV), with infrastructure and manpower shortage haunting the health system, according to experts.

“Urban congestion is so high and the way settlements have grown, epidemics, once they occur, spread at a galloping pace. We only wait for several people to die and the virus to lose its strength -- like in the case of H1N1 -- and then say that we are handling the situation well as the mortality rate has come down,” says Dr Rajani S N, epidemiologist at a private hospital in Mangaluru.

A recent Global Health Security Index-2019 report puts India in the 57th place out of 195 countries, with a score of 46.5 out of 100 in terms of preparedness for an epidemic outbreak.

Dr Vinay D, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospitals, says, “Preparedness means being planned. There have been several instances of Zika, Nipah, H1N1 and other zoonotic illnesses like rabies and dengue. When the outbreaks happen, the authorities usually react to the situation. Planning means ensuring outbreaks are immediately curtailed.”

Infrastructure provision should be multi-level care.

Awareness on possible outbreaks and precautions should be spread in advance. In case of an outbreak, a provision has to be made well in advance for clear-cut wards with dedicated staff, health experts explain.

Dr Vinay says the best way to stop a virus during an outbreak is to contain it. Hospitals across the state, including private ones, should do it.

However, several private hospitals have refused to set up isolation wards. Although 10 private hospitals including Manipal, Apollo and Fortis came forward, many said their staff were untrained in handling such cases.

Dr Prakash, the state nodal officer for 2019-nCOV, says private hospitals cannot be normally forced to set up isolation wards, but the government can enforce isolation wards under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act in case of emergency.

There are stipulated isolation wards in government hospitals like Bengaluru’s Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and the Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru to handle cases during an outbreak.

R Ravindra, president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, fells though large private hospitals can set apart space for isolation wards, smaller hospitals would find it difficult.

Dr Satyanarayana, Head of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Manipal Hospitals, stresses the need to set up virology testing labs in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Hubbali and Mysuru.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp