The state health minister announced a slew of measures aimed at containing the possible damage from new and old variants of Covid.
The state government is planning to train over 18,000 nursing students and paramedical staff in order to prepare for any oncoming waves and variants of Covid-19.
K Sudhakar, Minister of Health and Family Welfare said, “This will enable us to have additional staff. The problem we faced last time was lack of nursing staff. So now we are prepping for it from now itself.”
The government is also asking 21 medical institutions across the state to prepare for handling Omicron cases. Suggestions have been given to Heads of Department (HODs), professors, assistant professors, and senior doctors to act responsibly. Treatment should be delivered efficiently in conjunction with home surgeons and Ph.D. students, he added. The government is ensuring effective care at these 21 medical institutions. All of these preparations will be completed in a week, the minister said.
Oxygen beds, general beds, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) along with the oxygen plants are getting ready, said R. Ashoka, Minister of Revenue. A control room work will be restarted. The government has fixed prices for testing. Normal RTPCR will take place for Rs. 500 and rapid will take place at Rs. 3000 in Bangalore.
The government will soon decide on how many beds should be set aside for Covid cases and how many for the ones with the Omicron strain. It will also seek inputs on whether past strain cases and Omicron cases should be treated in separate isolation wards. An update on the number of beds available for Omicron patients in Karnataka will be given in the next couple of days, he said. “We will decide and set up dedicated wards for Omicron cases based on the information we get. We have reviewed thoroughly the preparedness for the third wave or Omicron’s probable effects,” he said.
The government has also released Rs. 55 crores to all house surgeons, thereby addressing the problem of delay in disbursing Covid allowance. There will be no delay in payment from the next month, he added.
The minister said that the police was well equipped to track the ten visitors from Africa who have so far been untraceable.
Meanwhile, R. Ashoka, said that they are tracing 10 people associated with the person who tested positive for omicron variant and these people will be tested by midnight.