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Rajdeep Sardesai discusses the success of ‘Bengaluru model’ in tackling coronavirus, asks whether the success was due to luck

The success of Bengaluru or Karnataka model and the subsequent positive appraisal received by the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government seems to have hurt some of the perennial pessimists in the country.

At a time when the metropolitan cities of the country are massively hit with the rising coronavirus cases, the IT capital of the country – Bengaluru seems to have cracked the coronavirus puzzle right as it has now emerged successful in containing the spread of contagion.

Bengaluru, with a population of 1.2 crore and also the third-largest city in the country, has only reported just 417 cases till June 3, out of which only 149 cases are active ones while 256 patients have recovered. On the contrary, major metropolitan cities in the country including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have accounted for nearly 78,000 cases, which is 40 per cent of the total cases in the country.

Only 12 deaths have been reported from the garden city Bengaluru, while the three major metros – Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have seen nearly 2,000 deaths due to the coronavirus cases.

Not just Bengaluru, the entire state of Karnataka, ruled by the BJP, has done a phenomenal job in limiting the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state. The state has seen just 4,320 positive cases and only 57 people have died due to the pandemic, despite having a population more than 7 crore population.

However, the success of Bengaluru or Karnataka model and the subsequent positive appraisal received by the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government seems to have hurt some of the perennial pessimists in the country.

Rajdeep Sardesai interviews Dr Shetty to discuss the success of ‘Bengaluru model’

The veteran ‘journalist’ Rajdeep Sardesai, who has a known dislike for the BJP, on Thursday attempted to pull a cheap trick to discredit the efforts of the Karnataka government in handling the major health crisis.

India Today, in its special report, had analysed how the ‘Bengaluru model’ of managing the coronavirus cases turned out to become one of the best health models in the country. However, at the outset of the show, Rajdeep Sardesai insinuated that the reason for the low number of cases in Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, was due to sheer luck.

Later in the show, the veteran ‘journalist’ also spoke to one of country’s renowned heart specialist Dr Devi Shetty, who has also been at the forefront of the coronavirus battle in Karnataka. Rajdeep Sardesai interviewed the renowned health expert to understand the success of the Bengaluru model.

During the show, Dr Devi Shetty explained how every state in the country started at the same point after the outbreak of the pandemic and how Karnataka was effective in managing the crisis.

Praising the BS Yediyurappa-led government, Dr Shetty pointed out that the state government did a good job by co-ordinating every step in the process from the beginning, not just in Bengaluru but also in every single district of the state, which helped them to contain the spread of the pandemic. Dr Shetty also said that strict enforcement of lockdown in the state was also one of the main reason why there was no sudden spike in cases in Karnataka, especially in Bengaluru.

Dr Devi Shetty, the founder-chairman, Narayana Health, also added that Karnataka will emerge as the best state in managing this health crisis three months from now as the state is strictly following the coronavirus protocol with aggressive testing, isolation and contact tracing, which has resulted in lesser number of cases and faster growth of recoveries in the state.

Was it because of luck, asks Rajdeep Sardesai

However, a not-so-happy Rajdeep Sardesai, asked Dr Shetty whether the success of the Bengaluru or Karnataka model was because of sheer luck or due to the effective management.

Responding to Rajdeep’s insinuations and attempts to discredit the BJP government in the state, Dr Devi Shetty once again calmly explained how Karnataka was the first state to create a separate COVID hospital by vacating a government hospital. He also said that the state government acted pro-actively by separating coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients, which effectively limited the spread of the virus within the health facilities.

The health expert also mentioned how a protocol was defined to identify the zones and isolating them, added with aggressive tracking and contract tracing. Bengaluru did everything what it was supposed to, said Dr Shetty, while stating that Karnataka is two-weeks ahead of others states in fighting the Chinese pandemic.

Rajdeep Sardesai, notoriously known for spinning the facts, then went on to ask whether the Karnataka performed better because of a strong presence of a private network of hospitals while attempting to take the credit away from the strong Coronavirus response system set up by the BSY-led government in the state.

Responding to Rajdeep Sardesai’s claim, Dr Shetty revealed that not even a single case was referred to the private hospital. He, however, added that the state government had asked the private hospitals to be on stand-by if at all when positive cases rise in the state.

“Even the number of cases rises, Karnataka will not face a problem like other states, mainly because, we have nearly 40 medical college hospitals, which are extremely well equipped with over 8,00,000 beds, addition to private hospitals as stand by,” said Dr Devi Shetty while asserting that Karnataka was the most prepared state in the country to handle the crisis if it aggrevates in the future.

Dr Shetty also took a dig at other states, by stating that Karnataka was not fudging numbers like others. “You can hide positive cases, but cannot hide dead bodies. We are doing more number of tests and managing the whole cycle effectively,” added Dr Shetty.

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