How Karnataka flattened Covid curve — Hear it from CM BS Yediyurappa

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Updated: May 07, 2020 4:32 PM

Covid-19 outbreak: Karnataka has also managed to bring down daily numbers. The last highest single day spike was on April 17, when the state had recorded 44 cases in a day.

Karnataka has so far reported about 700 cases out of which 354 patients have recovered. (IE)

Coronavirus in India: Karnataka is among the few states that have managed to flatten the Covid curve by reporting most recoveries and fewer active cases as of now. Till this morning, the southern state reported 701 positive cases out of which 354 patients have recovered, leaving the total active cases at just 317. The state has also managed to bring down daily numbers. The last highest single day spike was on April 17, when the state had recorded 44 cases in a day. Since then, the state has been reporting between 10 to 30 cases, which is far less than the neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. With such performance, Karnataka has joined the league of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, and Goa that have reported more recoveries and fewer active cases as of today — Goa has zero active cases, all have recovered while Assam has 10 and Kerala has 30 active cases.

Karnataka managed to keep its numbers down mostly because the administration had its response worked out from the beginning, says chief minister BS Yediyurappa in an interview with The Indian Express. The chief minister said that a task force was set up under his direct supervision to ensure all the decisions were implemented with speed. He further said that the members of the task force were ministers heading ministries, a move that helped cut delays in implementing decisions. He also said that Karnataka was probably the first state to set up a COVID-19 War Room.

Giving out details on the strategies that his administration have been following, Yediyurappa said that his team focused on aggressive contact tracing and enforcing complete lockdown. He said that a war room was set up to ensure 24X7 monitoring and reporting. The chief minister said that he set up a well-oiled administrative machinery with 17 committees, each headed by an additional chief secretary rank officer to look into various tasks. “Karnataka was quick off the block and started screening international air passengers as early as January 20. We have screened 2 lakh passengers,” the chief minister told IE.

Yediyurappa also explained how his state used technology to fight the pandemic. He said technology was used to train thousands of doctors and nurses in the shortest possible time. He said that the Tele ICU Unit monitored real-time patient data and advised doctors in hospitals set up to treat Covid patients.

Karnataka also used traffic video or camera-feeds, drone monitoring and mobile phone data to trace contacts of confined patients and monitor quarantined citizens. The chief minister said that Karnataka “developed apps including ‘Corona Watch’ to monitor home quarantined citizens, which helped free up municipal and police team members for other activities”. He further said that his war room in Bengaluru had “all the makings of a Security Operations Center, and functions much like it”. “Manned by a dedicated team of nearly 25 round-the-clock and supervised by two IAS officers, the war room has hotlines to the task force and other entities like police and designated hospitals,” the chief minister said.

Karnataka has so far reported about 700 cases while its neighbouring states like Maharashtra has nearly 17,000, Tamil Nadu nearly 5,000, Andhra 1777 and Telangana has 1107 — only Kerala has less cases than Karnataka.

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