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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Karnataka Covid-19 wrap: State records 31,531 fresh cases as testing dips

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar announced that the state-run Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru will begin treatment of mucormycosis on a pilot basis.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 17, 2021 7:20:15 am
A woman gets her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Representational image: PTI)

Karnataka, on Sunday, recorded 31,531 fresh cases as testing figures, at 1,13,219, dipped to lowest in May. However, the state recorded 36,475 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru continued to witness a steady decline in the number of daily cases with 8,344 people testing positive on Sunday. The same was 13,402 and 14,316 on Saturday and Friday respectively. The active caseload now stands at 6,00,147 of which 3,61,380 are in Bengaluru alone.

Meanwhile, the state recorded 403 more deaths on Sunday, of which 160 were from Bengaluru (Urban & Rural) alone.

As of May 16 evening, over 22.03 lakh positive cases and 15.81 lakh recoveries have been confirmed in the state since March 2020. The state has reported over 11.65 lakh cases and 9,253 deaths have taken place since April 1 this year alone.

State to begin treatment for ‘black fungus’ in Bengaluru hospital

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar Sunday announced that the state-run Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru will begin treatment of mucormycosis (known as black fungus) on a pilot basis.

“The treatment will later be extended to medical colleges and district hospitals. With the treatment known to be expensive, I will discuss with CM Yediyurappa to check if free treatment can be offered to the patients,” he said.

Sudhakar added that a committee of experts would be set up to prepare a roadmap for the treatment of those infected and how to curb the infection. “Mucormycosis is commonly seen among those with either less immunity or those who use steroids. The infection begins through the nose for diabetic patients who take steroids while being treated for Covid-19. After 10 to 15 days, this spreads to the eye,” Sudhakar, who is also doctor, explained.

He added that lack of timely treatment in such cases lead to fatalities.

Karnataka govt asks district admins to set up one triage centre each for 40,000 people

In a bid to ramp up infrastructure in the districts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Karnataka government has ordered the district administrations of Belagavi, Ballari, Kalaburagi, Hubbali-Dharwad, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Davanagere, Vijayapura, Shivamogga, and Tumakuru to set up at least one triage centre for around 40,000 people.

The order comes as it has been noted that maximum of the cases that are being reported daily are coming from outside Bengaluru — which was considered to be the Covid epicentre.

An order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravikumar explained that the number of decentralized triage centers (DTCs) would depend on the number of cases getting added every day.

“About three to four DTCs may be needed in a city/town in addition to the triage centres functioning in district hospitals, medical college hospitals, and Covid care centres that are already established in the district headquarters. Ideally, there should be one DTC for 40,000 people,” the order mentioned.

Ravikumar also instructed the deputy commissioners of the concerned districts and municipal commissioners of the concerned city corporations to ensure “strict implementation” of the order on an immediate basis.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections in the state have remained in the 40,000 range for several weeks, despite the numbers in Bengaluru dipping from the 20,000 range to around 15,000 in the recent days.

Vaccination centres to be shifted to safer locations: Ministerial taskforce

The ministerial taskforce chaired by Deputy CM C N Ashwathnarayan has decided to “gradually shift” all vaccination centres to schools, colleges and other safer locations from hospitals and public healthcare centres in a bid to minimise risk of contracting the virus while getting inoculated.

Ashwathnarayan said, “The government has kept aside Rs 75 crore to purchase 5 lakh vials of Remdesivir via global tenders. At the same time, Rs 843 crore will be spent on another global tender to purchase sufficient vaccines.”

The task force has also allocated Rs 260 crore to procure medicines and medical equipment that wil be required in the next 90 days in phases, while the government is planning to set up six genome labs to study mutations of the coronavirus.

Further, Health Minister K Sudhakar added that the government will convert all beds in Taluk hospitals into oxygenated ones. “At least 100 ICU beds will be set up in each district hospital. To ramp up testing, 1 crore RT-PCR test kits will also be procured,” he added.

He further informed that two lakh pulse oximeters will be procured and distributed to people under home isolation or at Covid care centres.

Bengaluru hotels demand rehabilitation package, write to Union Finance Minister

Owners of hotels, restaurants, and pubs in Bengaluru have approached Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a rehabilitation package to help them tide through these difficult times. This comes a month after they had demanded a cut in property tax, fixed charges in electricity bills, and exemption in excise license rates from the state government.

In a letter, the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association (BBHA) urged the Centre to waive off bank interest on term loans, cash credit and overdraft limits.

“While restaurants do not have input credit, the GST charged for hotel buildings should be waived off completely from the present slab of 18 per cent. Else, interests for delayed payment of GST should not be attracted for this year,” BBHA President Rao wrote.

He added that the Centre should also announce a rehabilitation package for reimbursement of statutory payment to ESIC and EPF to reduce the employer contribution.

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