COVID-19: Concerned over deaths among those with comorbidities, Karnataka to monitor patients through tele-ICUs

Specialists from Victoria Hospital affiliated with Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute will monitor critical patients admitted to intensive care units of government hospitals across the State daily

Updated - January 12, 2024 11:57 am IST

Published - January 10, 2024 10:59 pm IST - Bengaluru

Asserting that there is no need for people to panic, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said the State has been conducting around 7,000 tests daily although the target was to conduct 5,000 tests. File photo

Asserting that there is no need for people to panic, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said the State has been conducting around 7,000 tests daily although the target was to conduct 5,000 tests. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Concerned over the increasing number of deaths, especially among those with comorbidities, despite a marginal decline in new COVID-19 cases, Karnataka will start monitoring all ICU patients through tele-ICUs. As of Wednesday, January 10, the State has recorded 27 deaths and 19 patients are under intensive care.

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Announcing this after chairing the Cabinet sub-committee’s meeting held on Wednesday, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao told presspersons that specialists from Victoria Hospital affiliated to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) will monitor critical patients.

The State’s Death Audit Committee that has so far audited a total of 21 deaths that have occurred since December 15 has concluded that only two of the fatalities are due to COVID pneumonia. A 40-year-old patient from Mangaluru and a 59-year-old woman from Mysuru, who were COVID positive and admitted with symptoms of SARI, are the two deaths that have been directly attributed to COVID. They had lung involvement with elevated inflammatory markers, according to the Death Audit Committee.

“Of the remaining 20, 18 patients had multiple comorbidities. Their death cannot be attributed to COVID as they had developed complications due to poor management of their comorbidities,” the Minister said.

Asserting that there is no need for people to panic, he said the State has been conducting around 7,000 tests daily although the target was to conduct 5,000 tests. “We have directed officials to ensure that high risk symptomatic contacts of COVID positive patients are compulsorily tested. This is as per ICMR’s guidelines on testing strategy,” the Minister said. “Karnataka has been doing the highest number of tests in the country and it is because of this we are able to detect positive cases.”

The Minister said a government order on administering flu vaccine for all health workers including doctors and para-medical staff will be issued soon. “The flu shots will prevent them from getting infected,” he added.

Karnataka reports 201 new cases and one death

Karnataka on Wednesday reported 201 new cases and one more death. An 85-year-old male from Mysuru, who was diagnosed with SARI, died on January 9 at a private hospital. With this, the total number of deaths reported since December 15 have touched 27.

As of Wednesday, the State had 974 active cases of which 59 are being treated in hospitals. As many as 7,315 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours of which 6,557 are RTPCR tests.

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