The Karnataka Health Department on Wednesday announced random coronavirus tests for slum dwellers, vendors, bill collectors and delivery staff employed with food chains and courier services. The new measures are “in view of a recent increase of Covid-19 cases and to ensure effective surveillance,” Health Secretary Jawaid Akhtar said.
The state has also announced it will stop treating asymptomatic patients at government hospitals and has decided to set up separate facilities for these patients as an effort to free up beds for symptomatic patients.
On Wednesday, the state directed private hospitals to take care of patients of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) who test positive for the virus instead of shunting them to government hospitals for free care.
The government is working towards a treatment fee structure at private hospitals and a proposal will be finalised in a couple of days, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said.
The number of ILI cases testing positive for the virus has seen a spur, sparking concern.
“The health status of those who have ILI symptoms will be monitored closely. Those who have co-morbidities and ILI are a very vulnerable group. Those that visit markets or accessing points of high density or areas of influence will be tested and we will try to watch and contain,” Hephsiba Rabi, the head of the Covid-19 war room for Bengaluru city, said.
Meanwhile, mathematical projections of Covid-19 cases and fatalities on the new iSPIRT India Covid-19 Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered (SEIR) predictive model, built by a group of Bengaluru computer scientists, indicates that the number of cases in Karnataka can rise from the current 7,734 to 14,710 by July 17. The number of deaths can rise from the present 102 to 275, the model has shown.
The demand for hospital beds in Bengaluru for critical cases is projected to surge to 711 by July 17 from 92 at present.