Speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting along with 9 other states, Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Tuesday claimed the state has increased the number of Covid tests from 20,000 per day to 50,000, and plans to further enhance it to 75,000 soon.
However, statistics issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services suggested otherwise. As per the media bulletin issued on Monday, the total number of tests done on August 10 was 22,620, including 8,193 Rapid Antingen Detection Tests and 14,427 tests classified as RT-PCR. Most samples to date were tested on August 6 when 48,421 were collected from across 30 districts of the state.
Stating that 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.”
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.
In the meeting, the Karnataka delegation also added that 1300 mobile testing teams have been deployed by the government to carry out field testing in containment and buffer zones.
#Karnataka Aug 10 update: Huge dip in total tests done today (22,620) as state records 4267 new cases. Total rises to 1,82,354.
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) August 10, 2020
Explaining a revised strategy being implemented in the state, the team of ministers and officials said, “We are focusing on reducing the number of deaths. Towards this end, we have increased testing, decreased delays between collection of samples, and uploading of results, reduced shifting time from home to hospital.”
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.
The state has so far collected Rs 6.65 crore in fine from violators for not wearing masks and not following social distancing norms.
“5.7 lakh people were warned for violating home quarantine, 5821 FIRs were filed, and 3246 repeated violators were moved to Institution Quarantine,” Medical Education Minister Sudhakar said.
He added that more than 12,000 violators were arrested and 1,12,000 vehicles had been seized to date.