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Karnataka records highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases; govt tells pvt sector not to layoff employees

Of the new cases, 10 are from Bengaluru urban, 12 from Mysuru 12, Mandya and Chikkaballapur reported three each, five from Bekagavi, Vijayapura had two, Ballari seven, Bidar and Dakshina Kannada reported one each.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 17, 2020 9:20:36 pm
Karnataka CM Yediyurappa held meeting with officials regarding Covid-19 situation in state.

With 44 new COVID-19 cases and a death reported from Karnataka, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in the state rose to 359 Friday. According to the state health department, this is the highest single-day increase in cases since the first case was detected on 8 March.

Of the new cases, 10 are from Bengaluru urban, 12 from Mysuru 12, Mandya and Chikkaballapur reported three each, five from Bekagavi, Vijayapura had two, Ballari seven, Bidar and Dakshina Kannada reported one each.

“As of 5:00 PM of 17th April, cumulatively 359 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, it includes 13 deaths and 88 discharges,” the health department bulletin said.

The health department bulletin stated that Karnataka has reported a new case of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). The SARI patient, P-349, is a 64-year woman from Bengaluru. Including this case, the total number of SARI cases in the state is 22.

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Meanwhile, the state government has ordered a total of 100,000 test kits for 30 districts in the state. On Friday the Health department issued a circular allocating 66,000 rapid antibody-based blood test kits for COVID-19 to red districts, while 34,000 will be allocated to green districts where no cases have been reported so far. Every district will get 3,300 kits.

Karnataka govt allows 50% staff in IT firms to work from office starting April 20 

Karnataka Deputy CM held a video conferencing call with top executives of IT companies on Friday.

On Friday, the state government allowed up to 50 per cent of the workforce of tech companies to work from their offices from April 20. The rest can work from home.

Read | Origin of outbreak remains a mystery at Mysuru firm, health officials approach foreign embassies

The state government has instructed the firms to take precautionary measures while operating from the office. The government has directed the companies to provide transport and other facilities along with screening all employees who will be working from the office.

Dr C.N. Ashwathnarayana, deputy chief minister of Karnataka and IT/BT minister, on Friday, held a video conference meeting with various top executives of IT/BT companies. Vision Group on IT chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Prashant Prakash of Accel Partners’, Able India’s Shrikumar Suryanarayan, and Prakash Gopalan of BSNL, among others, were present at the video conference.

“Interacted with leaders from the IT&BT sectors via a video call. A range of topics from implementing safety measures, facilitating transport, tax refunds to the utilisation of technology to mitigate the effects of COVID19 were deliberated upon,” he said in a tweet.

“We have promised that appropriate guidelines would be provided in consultation with the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Companies have also agreed to follow preventive measures such as maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene, screening facilities, and social distancing in the offices,” Dr C.N. Ashwathnarayana told reporters.

Karnataka directs private sector to cut salary instead of lay offs

Ashwathnarayan has directed companies not to lay off employees citing the coronavirus pandemic, instead consider measures like salary cuts.

“In the discussion regarding layoffs, there should not be employee layoffs, instead of that deduction in the salary should be taken up, so that it will not affect employees and companies,” Ashwathnarayan said.

“Finding new jobs at this time will be difficult. Instead, companies could find better ways of dealing with the situation like pay adjustments and deduction in the salary,” he added.

Karnataka govt fixes Rs 2,250 for Covid-19 test in pvt labs

The state government on Friday has fixed Rs 2,250 as the per test cost for Covid-19 samples in the private laboratories, according to a circular issued by the Karnataka health and family welfare department.

According to the health department, after negotiations with private testing laboratories, the cost has been set at Rs 2,250 per test. A total of 16 laboratories (11 government and 5 private) have been approved by the ICMR for testing samples of Covid-19 suspected cases.

The data pertaining to the diagnosis of Covid-19 should be sent to the state government and ICMR on a real-time basis. The state government will, however, not provide any testing kits and other accessories required for testing.

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