Karnataka seeks public funds to fight coronavirus


Bengaluru, Apr 4 (IANS): Bracing for a long war against the coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka government has sought donations from the public, including the industry, corporates, traders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society to meet the rising expenditure in containing the spread of the dreaded virus, an official said on Friday.

"The state government has appealed to all stakeholders, including the public and the institutes, to donate to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for Covid-19. All contributions to the fund are exempted from income tax," the official from the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.

Noting that the deadly virus had caused immense hardship to the citizens due to the lockdown, the official said the sudden crisis had shot up the state's expenditure exponentially in screening, testing and treating the affected persons.

"The Chief Minister has set up a three-member committee to coordinate the response-related activities with all the stakeholders, including the industry, trade bodies and NGOs," said the official.

The committee is headed by Additional Chief Secretary Mahendra Jain, with Principal Secretary Uma Mahadevan and Industry Commissioner Gunjan Krishna as its members.

The committee has urged all the stakeholders to join the government in fighting the virus on war footing with a targeted approach.

"The committee also appealed to the public and various organisations to donate medical and relief materials to the state health and related departments for meeting the growing demand for treating Covid-19 patients in the state-run and private hospitals," the official added.

The department is in urgent need of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, ventilators, N95 and triple-layer masks, cots, mattresses, pillows, sheets, sanitary items like hand towels, toilet papers, tissues, adult diapers, hand sanitisers, hand-wash liquid, floor and toilet cleaning detergents and disinfectants.

  

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