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Medical Education Minister Sudhakar to take over Health Portfolio

Amid rising cases of coronavirus infections in Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa divested B Sriramulu of the Health and Family Welfare portfolio, handing it over to K Sudhakar, who already heads the Medical Education ministry.

Sudhakar had successfully contested from Chikkaballapura after switching sides to the BJP from the Congress last year. “I’m grateful to the CM and the state leadership for entrusting me with this additional charge. With the Medical Education and Health Departments working in tandem, better decisions can be made and implemented without much ado,” he said.

As per the official order signed by the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Sriramulu has been assigned the Social Welfare Department which was handled by Govind M Karjol, one among the three deputies of CM Yediyurappa.

Yediyurappa also divested Sriramulu of the Backward Class Welfare Department, leaving the powerful leader of the Valmiki community with a single portfolio.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress party criticised the Yediyurappa-led BJP government citing the reshuffle as a testimony to its failure in managing the pandemic. “The Cabinet reshuffle done by CM Yediyurappa is the proof of this government’s miserable failure in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that the Health Minister has been changed adds credence to our charge that this government’s incompetency has led to massive loss of life and livelihood,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D K Shivakumar said.

Elaborating on his focus as the Health and Medical Education Minister, he said, “Our neighbouring state Kerala is known for its strong public healthcare system. Setting this as an example and in fact trying to take a step ahead, we will begin with our collective efforts to set up a commendable healthcare system in our state.”

However, Sudhakar added that his immediate focus was to bring down the case fatality rate (CFR) in the state, especially in Mysuru. “While measures will be taken to lessen the case fatality rate first, identifying all contacts (of a Covid-19 positive person) within 48 hours will also be worked upon by our officials. Providing comprehensive treatment to those in need to help them recover from the infection is another area we are working on,” he said.

As on Sunday, Karnataka has recorded a 1.4 per cent CFR (since March 8) while the same at Mysuru is 2.1 per cent, as per data issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services. At the same time, even as Bengaluru tops the list of most coronavirus-linked deaths among 30 districts in the state, the CFR is 1.2 per cent.

Karnataka has reported over 7.1 lakh cases with 5.8 lakh people recovering from the infection. At least 9,966 people have succumbed to the infection so far. – The Indian Express