Will bring in policies to introduce Hindu practices of wellness: K'taka Health Minister

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Bengaluru, Nov 11 (PTI) Emphasising on learning the Hindu way of life and adopting ancient practices of wellness, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said he will bring in policies to introduce a holistic and comprehensive healthcare system in the state.

In an interview to PTI, Sudhakar, who is a medical practitioner, said, 'One should learn the Hindu way of life.

One should go back to our ancient practices so far as wellness is concerned.' 'I am moving ahead to introduce this (ancient practices of wellness) in Bengaluru and Karnataka in a holistic and comprehensive manner. I am bringing in new policies,' he said.

Sudhakar further said he would stress on prevention of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension etc.

To a query on the lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudhakar said the health sector was 'neglected' all these decades.

Lamenting that the spending on public healthcare by all the previous governments had taken a backseat, he said this is an area where he would like to focus.

'We need to build a robust healthcare system, especially when primary and secondary healthcare should be robust. We should focus more on prevention of a disease,' Sudhakar said.

Asked whether Ayurveda was of any help during the pandemic, the minister said he was not armed with any medical evidence to prove that it works the way allopathy does.

'I don't know whether Ayurveda and Unani have the same protocols as allopathy, but I know for a fact that Ayurveda is a great science, very ancient science, which works.

All diseases cannot have the same protocol of treatment,' he added.

The infection and mortality in Karnataka has come down drastically from over 10,500 fresh cases and over 200 deaths a day to somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 infections and 20 to 30 deaths a day.

Asked how it was reduced, the minister said after eight months with the virus, the medical world has developed a line of treatment after many trial-and-errors.

'Since it is almost eight months now, a structured and specific treatment protocol has been achieved,' he said.

He added that Karnataka had used technology to the optimum level by setting up a war room, tele-ICU connecting all the ICUs across all the districts of the state to ensure uniform treatment protocol.

The serological survey with a sample size of 16,700 people conducted in Karnataka indicated that about 1.93 crore people in the state had a brush with the virus.

Responding to a query whether Karnataka was close to herd immunity, Sudhakar said it was quite natural to develop it.

'It is quite natural to develop it. This sample size is not very big. In a big dynamic country like ours, the spread of coronavirus is a reality.

So more positive cases is a reality but herd immunity has to happen finally but we cannot predict when,' he pointed out.

Herd immunity, also known as population immunity, occurs when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease and making its spread from person to person unlikely.

To another question on how Karnataka dealt with the pandemic, Sudhakar said the state was the first to use latest technologies.

'We were the first in many things like tele-ICU, using technology, 'Aptamitra' helpline, Quarantine mobile applications, home isolation applications -- We monitored the infected or primary contacts using technology, identifying the primary and secondary contacts and counselling,' he explained.

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