Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare held a meeting through video conferencing to review COVID-19 preparedness and measures for ensuring COVID Appropriate Behaviour with Dr. K.Sudhakar, Health and Medical Education Minister, Karnataka and other senior officials of the State Government.
Expressing satisfaction over India’s progress in combating Corona, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “ We will soon be completing a journey of 10 months in fighting Corona. The country is now witnessing substantialimprovements in COVID parameters. The number of cases and deaths are in a declining phase. The active cases have been substantially reduced. The Recovery Rate of India has surpassed 92% today. The Case Fatality Rate is also declining and stands at 1.49%. With over 2000 labs, the testing capacity has also increased”, he said.
Urging people across the country to follow the clarion call of Hon. Prime Minister as part of the ‘Jan Andolan’, the Union Health Minister urged people to follow COVID appropriatebehaviour. He said, “ In the coming festival and winter season, the virus poses potential threats. It becomes very important to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour to cut the transmission of virus. Whenever there is a laxity in following basic precautionary measures, the country has suffered.”
Comparing the COVID trajectory of Karnataka with that of the country, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Karnataka has the second highest cumulative cases after Maharashtra. Karnataka has a Recovery Rate of 93% which is more than the national recovery rate. The case fatality rate (1.35%) is alsolower than the national average.”He also appreciated the efforts of the State in reducing active cases.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed concerns over the trajectory of the disease in Urban Bengaluru, Mysuru, Bellari, Dakshin Kannada, Hassan and Belagavi which are the high case load districts in Karnataka. DrVardhan also spoke with officials of the districts where the positive cases are increasing and the Fatality rate is showing a rising trend. He also applauded Karnataka for its high impetus on IEC activities. Union Health Minister urged the State to adopt widescale and high visibility IEC campaigns for adoption of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
The health authorities of the State apprised the Union Minister on the steps taken to contain COVID.The Union Health Minister interacted with the Dy. Commissioners and DMs of the six districts reporting high cases and higher mortality.The state is following 4 T’s of Tracing, Testing, Treatment&Technology to tackle COVID-19. Testing has been increased from 10,000 tests per day in June to over 80,000 per day as of now. Testing facilities have been made available in all the medical colleges in the state. This has increased testing capacities manifold. More than 8 million tests have been done in the State so far.The State authorities stated that 80% of the tests done are by RTPCR. The state has also reduced the active cases by 37% between 25th October to 1st November. Random pool testing and Targeted testing has been done to ensure early containment and appropriate treatment. Containment strategies were adopted in the urban areas. IEC activities have been given significant boost in the State and a separate fund is allocated for this purpose.
Sh. Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary underscored that the new cases and deaths in Karnataka have declined significantly but still a lot needs to be done to bring the parameters to pre July levels. The State should aim at bringing the positivity level to less than 5%. The State needs to engage aggressively with all the stakeholders in those districts which have fatality rate higher than the national average.
Dr S K Singh, Director NCDC made a brief presentation on the current status of COVID19 in the State. He highlighted the need for continued vigilance and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour.
Smt. Arti Ahuja, Addl. Secretary (Health), Dr Sunil Kumar, DGHS, Shri Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary and other senior officials were also present in the meeting. Other officials from the State joined virtually.