K’taka to utilise pvt hospitals to treat Covid: Minister

Private hospitals will also be roped in to treat Covid patients at government fixed costs in Karnataka, said a minister on Monday.

“Decision will be soon made on roping in private hospitals to treat Covid patients,” said Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar.

However, he clarified that the cost for testing and treating patients will be determined by the government.

“Strict action will be taken against hospitals which try exploit people by charging exorbitant prices. Private sector has to join hands with the government in this battle against the pandemic,” he said,

Commenting on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, Sudhakar said only MDA and CE approved kits are being purchased and people need not worry about their quality.

The minister said that he is personally visiting all the districts to monitor the state of the pandemic in the southern state.

On bringing Covid treatment under the ambit of insurance, Sudhakar said he will discuss with the union Health Ministry to bring Covid under ABARK.

He quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation which said wearing marks can reduce the spread of the infection by 90 per cent and exhorted everybody to wear a mask.

The minister requested the press and media to raise Covid awareness with facts and help people overcome fear and anxiety about the virus.

“Bengaluru has about 607 cumulative cases so far and 330 among them are still active. Only six of them are in ICU and 93 per cent of them are asymptomatic,” he said.

According to Sudhakar, Coronavirus is not as lethal as SARS and Karnataka’s mortality rate is 1.2 per cent compared to the national mortality rate of 2.8 per cent.

“Except the fact that corona is spreading fast, it is not as dangerous as past viruses. For example, mortality rate in SARS is 10 per cent. So the media should create awareness among the public with these facts and figures rather than creating panic,” he added.