The Karnataka government on Thursday decided to conduct mandatory testing of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the state amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world, including China. The government also decided to make face masks mandatory in closed spaces and airconditioned rooms. The two per cent random testing of international passengers arriving in the state will continue until revised directions from the Centre, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
“We are going to issue advisory to wear masks in indoor locations, closed spaces and air-conditioned rooms. Also, there will be mandatory testing of ILI and SARI cases across Karnataka,” Sudhakar said briefing reporters after a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on COVID-19.
The meeting was attended by ministers, health department officials and the members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on COVID-19. Sudhakar said that it was also decided in the meeting to open dedicated Covid wards in all district hospitals with sufficient beds and supply of Oxygen. There will also be a coordination with private hospitals and super speciality hospitals for reserving beds to treat Covid patients as existed during the peak of COVID a year ago, he added.
In view of fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in countries like China, the state government decided to review its preparedness and the measures to be taken to check any such occurrence in the state.
The government decided to set up special camps across Karnataka to improve the booster dose coverage from the existing 20 to 60 per cent within a month. In this connection, the state will coordinate with the Centre for additional stock of booster doses. In order to check its readiness, the government planned to hold drills in all government and private hospitals to test the condition of oxygen generators, supply networks and the functioning of oxygen cylinders. All samples from positive patients are to be sent to the labs for genomic sequencing.