Amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases across the globe and its rapid spread across newer geographies, Sudha Murty has come forward to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in India. In an open letter addressed to the Karnataka government, the Chairperson of Infosys Foundation has urged the government to take preventative measures to curb the spread of coronavirus “before it gets worse”.
So far, a total of 81 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in India, including the 76-year-old Karnataka man who became the first fatality in the country. In Karnataka alone, the coronavirus-positive cases stand at six.
Murty, who leads the state government-constituted Karnataka Tourism Task Force, has suggested that all schools and colleges be shut down with immediate effect. She has also called for the closure of malls and theatres and "all air-conditioned areas where the virus multiplies". According to media reports, Murty has urged the government to only allow essential services like pharmacy, grocery, and petrol bunks to operate.
"It is not scientifically proven that the virus dies in high temperature," reports quoted her saying, pointing to the spread of the virus in Australia and Singapore, which experience "summer all 12 months.”
While outlining various measures that could be taken in the face of, what the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed a pandemic, Murty also highlighted the limitations of India’s healthcare in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. According to her, no private hospital is equipped to manage the patients if such an “epidemic hits”.
"I request you to vacate one government hospital with at least 500-700 beds for this purpose (to deal with coronavirus cases), which requires oxygen lines and pipes," she wrote to the state government.
Murty has discussed the situation with Devi Prasad Shetty, the Chairman and Executive Director of Narayana Health, as well. As she joins forces to prevent the spread of the epidemic, she promised that the Infosys Foundation will be doing the civil work while Devi Shetty will share resources like medical equipment.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)