Coronavirus: Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan on how Karnataka is working like a startup to manage COVID-19

Deputy CM of Karnataka CN Ashwath Narayan speaks to YourStory’s Shradha Sharma about how the state is looking at a collaborative effort with the enterprise, academia, startups, and citizens to combat coronavirus.

Karnataka has been extremely proactive and collaborative in the battle against the novel coronavirus. In fact, it was the first state in the country to invoke provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, amid COVID-19 fear and notify regulations to prevent the outbreak and its spread.

Sri C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister, Karnataka

It is now looking at a collaborative effort between the state, enterprise, academia, the entrepreneur ecosystem, and citizens to not just combat coronavirus, but to facilitate life after the lockdown period.

In this conversation with YourStory Media Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan began with a thank you note to everyone for doing their bit to help the state with its COVID-19 efforts.

Watch the full interview here:

“I would like to share that all of our citizens, enterprises, and entrepreneurs have been doing an excellent job. They've been very responsible, and they extended their fullest cooperation in this situation. They're willing to take any kind of steps and cooperate to ensure that  COVID-19 will be contained and eliminated,” he said.

Talking about how the state implemented a startup approach in its efforts, and its emphasis on swift and decisive action to scale the effort across the state, he added, “Surveillance and shutdowns have been key to the containment, and we’re approaching it with a collaborative spirit. That is the easiest way we can contain the spread of the disease. Our honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji took it very seriously, and so have we. If you look at the numbers, it's been in control, and we are doing a good job of it, ably supported by healthcare professionals, the police force, and all essential service providers. We have taken the utmost care to ensure that there is no scarcity for any of the essential commodities or services. Our hospitals or any other services have not been affected and we are making an effort to maintain the power and water supply.”

“We had a video conference with key enterprise and tech company heads for their inputs on implementing the lockdown, and even took onboard their requests that internet services be optimal during this period. I’m happy to add that the internet service providers have also collaborated to make this possible,” he said.

Talking about how the entrepreneurial ecosystem helped the state’s efforts, he added, “Many technologists and startups also came forward with a lot of solutions and ideas, which have been integrated on our platforms. They have been working closely with the government on this  along with the nodal officer from the IT department.”

He added, “The kind of interest and passion with which the ecosystem has been working has been a real inspiration. You people have made a big difference. Businesses that made pro-active efforts to function and act autonomously and responsibly, even without the need for directive and supervision, have made a big difference – and that's the biggest solution. On the government’s part, we'll ensure that things will go easily and safely."


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