Govt. bars people with mild illnesses from visiting hospitals
In an indication that the next two-three weeks are crucial, the State Government on Saturday issued a public notification stating that only sick patients and those requiring emergency care should visit the hospitals for the next two weeks. This is to prevent crowding and the spread of COVID-19 among patients.
“Patients with mild illness, which require outpatient care/ follow-up care/ elective surgeries, including dental issues, should not visit the hospitals for the next two weeks or till further orders,” stated the notification issued by T.K. Anil Kumar, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare).
“This is primarily for non-COVID patients. With a steep rise in cases, it is important to initiate measures to curb transmission. This notification has been issued with an intention to curtail the spread within the hospitals and among patients. We had issued a similar notification in March last year during the second wave,” Mr. Anil Kumar told The Hindu.
He said private hospitals have also been instructed to take similar steps to prevent crowding and halt the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the State Health Department has advised all those who have provided swab samples for COVID-19 testing to strictly isolate/ quarantine themselves at home till their lab results are communicated. “Any irresponsible behaviour by people who have given swabs for testing, such as going outdoors, socialising, going to work, etc. will result in spread of infection in the community. Consequently, such acts will invite stringent legal action under Epidemic Diseases Act,” stated a separate circular.
10,000 medicos for tele-triaging
Meanwhile, to reduce unnecessary burden on the health infrastructure, the State Government is utilising the services of about 10,000 medical, dental and AYUSH students for tele-triaging and monitoring patients under home isolation. “Over 500 experts are supporting the system,” said Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Saturday.
“We have a process to regularly monitor the health of those under home isolation. Several people seek hospitalisation due to panic, even if they are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. If proper counselling is provided through phone, we can reduce unnecessary burden on our health infrastructure,” he said.
Speaking after inaugurating a virtual training programme in home isolation care for the medical, dental and AYUSH students, the Minister said Karnataka has effectively leveraged technology in its battle against the pandemic. The training programme was held in association with Project StepOne.
“So far about 2.5 lakh healthcare and frontline staff have been trained through online platforms. This is a model for the entire country,” the Minister added.