We're clueless about COVID-19: Karnataka Health Min

We're clueless about this disease: Karnataka Health Minister expresses helplessness

Health and Family Welfare Minister B Sriramulu

Health Minister B Sriramulu expressed helplessness over the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 in state. During the discussion on Covid-19 at the Legislative Council on Monday, the minister said, "I honestly tell before this house, I don't know what to do and we are clueless about this disease. We are trying from all means to fight this disease."

"We have taken all measures to curb the spread of this disease. Many people are still not aware about the seriousness of the disease. Considering this, we are giving advertisements and also utilising Asha workers to visit each house and create awareness," he said.

The minister even mentioned that, following several complaints about not checking temperature of public during the screening process, the government had procured over 10000 machines to check the temperature.

"We even had meetings with private medical colleges and hospitals. In the beginning, they expressed anxiety in treating Covid-19 suspects. But now they are ready and if any positive symptoms are reported, then the same should be brought to the notice of the government," he added.

As per the information provided by the minister to the house, the goverment has so far spent over Rs 36 crore on Covid-19. "There is no financial dearth in the state to fight the disease," he mentioned.

Uproar in Assembly

A statement by Health minister B Sriramulu on the floor of the House asking people to cover their nose and mouth with hankies or a cotton cloth if there was a shortage of masks, led to heated arguments.

While replying to a query on the shortage of masks in the market and a few shops charging exorbitant price, Sriramulu said, "There is no need to wear masks. Those who are having symptoms like cold, cough and headache can wear masks. In case of unavailability of masks, people can wear a cotton cloth or a hanky with eucalyptus oil sprayed on it."

This received criticism from several members who demanded the minister to make necessary arrangements to curb the spread of the virus and maintain hygiene.

The minister promised to initiate strict action against those creating scarcity of masks. "We have enough stock of masks for the next three months. In case anybody tries to create a scarcity of masks or sells for a high price then the licence of such shops will be cancelled," said minister.

Measures by govt

- Labs to be set up in all districts for testing of Covid-19
- Temperature test at every public place
- 300 beds reserved in Army and BSF hospitals
- 2000 beds ready at other hospitals
- Doctors will be sent on deputation to the districts in need
- 5 km radius of the person who died due to Covid 19 has been declared a buffer zone

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