In pic: Minister for Health and Family Welfare B. Sriramulu in full protective gear during his visit to a COVID-19 isolation ward at VIMS in Ballari on Thursday.
He directed the district administration to provide all facilities and equipment to the VIMS and Trauma Care Centre.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare B. Sriramulu has said that the BJP government has decided to purchase 2,000 ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients in the State.
“We have decided to purchase 2,000 ventilators to tackle COVID-19 in the State. The equipment would shortly be imported from abroad. There is no dearth of funds to deal with the deadly disease,” the Minister said at a meeting of key district-level officers that he convened in Ballari on Thursday to discuss the measures taken to handle COVID-19.
He directed the district administration to provide all facilities and equipment to Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) and Trauma Care Centre that has been designated for COVID-19 treatment in the district.
“Fortunately, we have thus for no COVID-19 positive cases in the district. We may have some in future and we should be prepared to handle the situation. The hospitals that are designated for COVID-19 treatment should be provided with all the required facilities and equipment,” he said.
Anticipating the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State, Mr Sriramulu appealed to private healthcare providers to join hands with the government to curb the menace.
“I have heard that some of the private hospitals are downing their shutters on some pretext or the other. It is not correct. All private hospitals should compulsorily remain open during this crisis time and offer treatment as and when required,” he said.
Arun and B.K.S. Sundar, doctors and office-bearers of Indian Medical Association’s district chapter, made it clear that their organisation was with the government in its fight against COVID-19.
Responding to the Minister’s query on the implementation of the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Deputy Commissioner S.S. Nakul said that the Jindal Steel plant had downsized its workforce from 35,396 to 16,850 for observing the lockdown.
“Apart from taking a slew of measures to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading, we have formed 28 rapid response squads and 17 various committees to handle the situation,” Mr Nakul said.
Legislators G. Somashekhar Reddy, K.C. Kondaiah, Allam Veerabhadrappa, Nagendra, Somalingappa and Superintendent of Police C.K. Baba and others were present.
The people’s representatives and officers maintained social distancing by keeping two chairs vacant between them during the meeting.
Later, the Health Minister visited an isolation ward established at VIMS and tried to instil confidence in patients there.
“Don’t worry. Don’t lose your confidence. We hope that your report will be negative for COVID-19. Since you have developed some symptoms, you are kept here. We are with you. We will provide you with all the facilities and care,” he told the patients.