COVID-19: retired doctors, nurses to be roped in to augment trained manpower

RT-PCR labs to be increased in Mysuru; task force committees to be constituted for better management of pandemic

Retired doctors and nurses will be recruited for COVID-19 duties in a bid to augment trained manpower to handle the surge in the cases in rural areas and taluk centres.

In a bid to reduce the time lag between testing and results additional laboratories will also be opened in Mysuru district.

This was stated by the district in-charge Minister S.T.Somashekar here on Wednesday. Speaking to media persons after a district-level review meeting, he said the local authorities have been directed to identify retired doctors for deployment on COVID-19 duties and they will be paid ₹60,000 per month while retired nurses will be paid ₹25,000 per month.

Experts have said that though the demand for beds and oxygen or medicines can be met by scaling up production, it will be difficult to augment the number of doctors and nurses at short notice to handle the increase in cases. Hence the decision to recruit retired doctors and nurses was seen as a solution to meet the exigency.

Mr. Somashekar said the issue pertaining to manpower scarcity was also discussed in the review meeting and the government had already issued a notification to begin the recruitment process.

The Minister said Covid care centres are being established at the taluk and rural levels so as to ensure quarantine of those testing positive besides taking care of their nutritional needs.

The review meeting follows the increase in positive cases across the State following which the Ministers in charge of their respective districts were directed to take stock of the situation.

Mr. Somashekar said local task force committee will be constituted with MLAs heading it in their respective constituencies and it will ensure that there was no dearth of oxygen or medicine in the respective area of jurisdiction.

With regard to oxygen demand, the Minister said there was a sense of panic in the public and a false belief that any testing positive for COVID-19 has to be administered oxygen.

The Minister noted the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Mysuru and the delay in obtaining the RT-PCR results. Hence it has been decided to open additional testing centres so as to reduce the load on the existing ones.

There were 77 laboratories in the district equipped to conduct RT-PCR tests but it takes 3 days to 5 days in certain cases for the results. So it has been decided to ramp up the number of laboratories to bridge the time lag.

Mysuru used to record an average of 150 to 200 COVID-19 cases per day till some time ago but it has surged in recent days and the daily average hovers around 2,000 to 2,500 cases

Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Deve Gowda, Narasimharaja MLA Tanvir Sait, Chamarja MLA L. Nagendra, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, Chamarajanagar MP V. Srinivas Prasad, and senior officials of the district administration were present.

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