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Karnataka government to ramp up daily COVID tests to 5000 from December 23

Karnataka's Health Minister, Dinesh Gundurao, mandates ramping up daily COVID-19 tests to 5,000, emphasizing testing for symptomatic individuals and travellers. Measures include ensuring medical equipment availability and convening meetings to address hospital readiness. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah plans a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee. Union Health Minister Mandaviya calls for a virtual meeting with state Health Ministers to discuss nationwide strategies. T

Karnataka government to ramp up daily COVID tests to 5000 from December 23 vkp
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First Published Dec 20, 2023, 8:54 AM IST

In a proactive measure to tackle the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Karnataka's Health Minister, Dinesh Gundurao, has directed officials to intensify daily testing to 5,000 across the state from December 23 onwards. This decision was made during a high-level meeting held by the Health Minister with senior officials on Tuesday to address the escalating concerns over rising COVID-19 infections.

The Health Minister stated the importance of augmenting testing capacities in both government and private healthcare facilities, including medical colleges. Instructions were given to ensure the availability of essential medical equipment such as oxygen, ventilators, and ICU beds. Procurement of viral transport media was also urged to facilitate the efficient transportation of samples for testing.

Karnataka Govt mandates mask policy for citizens above 60 amid COVID concerns

To curb the potential spread of the virus, individuals exhibiting symptoms and those returning from travel, both domestic and international, are mandated to undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19. The directive aims to escalate testing measures to gauge the gravity of the situation regarding the virus's spread. Adequate supplies of RTPCR test kits were stressed for seamless testing in all government hospitals.

Furthermore, He recommended conducting COVID-19 tests for individuals experiencing respiratory issues or flu-like symptoms. The meeting was attended by prominent officials from the Health Department, including Principal Secretary Anil Kumar and Commissioner D. Randeep.

Before the Health Minister's directive, Anil Kumar, the Principal Secretary of the Health Department, convened a video conference with District Health Officers. They were tasked with providing comprehensive reports on the status of hospitals in districts and taluks, focusing on facilities available for COVID-19 patient care. Special attention was directed towards the functionality of ICU equipment and oxygen storage, with immediate repairs suggested where necessary.

Minister Gundurao kept Chief Minister Siddaramaiah abreast of the state's COVID-19 situation and the preparatory measures taken during the meeting. Following the CM's return to Bangalore on Thursday, a decision was made to convene a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee to further strategize containment efforts.

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In response to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is set to conduct a virtual meeting with Health Ministers from all states. The agenda includes assessing each state's COVID-19 scenario and deliberating on potential measures in the event of heightened infections. Discussions will also revolve around issuing comprehensive national guidelines concerning COVID-19.

Presently, Karnataka reported 44 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, marking a 6.09% increase in positivity rate. A total of 722 tests, comprising 487 RTPCR and 235 RAT tests, were conducted. Of the 79 active cases, 62 are under home isolation, while 17 patients receive hospital treatment, with six in ICU care.

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