CII, Karnataka govt to form task force against COVID-19

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Bengaluru, Apr 24 (PTI): The Karnataka government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday decided to form a task force to jointly fight against COVID-19.

The task force would have representatives from the CII and the State Health Department.

It would explore ways to quickly augment medical and non-medical infrastructure, including a massive call centre and modular ICU units, to manage the virus more effectively.

The representatives of CII had a video conference with Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar and other senior officials of the Health Department here today.

According to an official statement, the task force would help the State government on various aspects such as technology, knowledge, sourcing of medicines and medical equipment, and software applications.

It would work on a master call centre, the statement said.

The call centre is likely on the lines of ApthaMitra helpline set up during the first wave of the virus.

Currently, there are multiple helplines for COVID-19 management and that is causing confusion among the public.

This helpline is likely to act as a master helpline for all aspects pertaining to coronavirus The task force would work out the modalities soon.

The training for the call centre executives is likely to be done by medical professionals from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, the department said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Health Minister said the task force would help the government in managing COVID-19 with respect to technology, software applications, know-how, sourcing of medicines, medical equipment and oxygen.

He said the task force would help the government to also set up about 3,000 to 5,000 Modular ICU units in the State to address the rising demand for ICU beds.

The Minister urged the industry to channel their CSR funds for virus-related activities.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CII president and co-founder of Infosys, Vikram Kirloskar, former CII president and CMD of Kirloskar Systems, Dr Devi Shetty, cardiologist, and Ramesh Ramadurai, CII's Karnataka chairman, were among those representing the CII. PTI GMS NVG NVG