The shortfall is expected to be around 1,500 cases statewide going by the trend experienced in recent weeks.

Covid testing Representational image/PTI
news COVID-19 Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 09:53

Officials in the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department on Tuesday said that the daily number of cases, recoveries and deaths of COVID-19 cases was underreported due to the ongoing strike by doctors.  This comes as the review reports were not sent to all the respective district headquarters by the government medical officers. 

For instance, Bagalkote district saw zero positive cases for the day, while Udupi saw cases increase by only one. Similarly, Ballari, Dharwad, Hassan, Kodagu, Shivamogga districts registered no increase in the number of discharged patients. The shortfall is expected to be around 1,500 cases statewide going by the trend experienced in recent weeks. Even the number of daily COVID-19 deaths which has been in the range of 120-150, dropped to 97 on Tuesday.

In an interaction with reporters, Dr GA Srinivas, President of Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA), said some of the doctors participating in the strike will not update data related to COVID-19 till their demands are met. The doctors said they will continue treatment and other functions in the ongoing strike barring updating the daily data.

The primary demand made by the association is that the state government pays them on par with the union government health scheme.

The KGMOA said that they will make a decision about the ongoing strike following a meet with Health and Family Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, and Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN  Ashwath Narayan. 

Speaking post the meeting, Dr Ashwath Narayan said the state government has decided to agree to their demands partially and the doctors will be paid incentives and urged the strike to be called off. However, the KGMOA remains unsatisfied. Reports said that the additional pay for these doctors would mean Rs 25 crore additional burden every month.

Further, an official said that if the doctors’ salaries are increased owing to these protests, other state government employees might also hold similar strikes demanding pay parity with their union government counterparts.

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