Updated: April 24, 2021 11:30:50 pm
Bengaluru has reported a record number of deaths due to Covid-19 for the second day running, taking the overall death toll in the city for any month past the 1,000-mark for the first time since the Covid 19 crisis began in March 2020.
According to official data put out by the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department on Saturday evening, Bengaluru recorded 149 deaths for the day – surpassing 124 deaths that were reported on Friday and taking the Covid-19 death toll in the month of April to 1,093.
The 149 deaths in Bengaluru reported on Saturday is among 201 deaths reported for the state of Karnataka for the day.
The record number of deaths seen in Bengaluru over the last few days has taken the death toll in the city past the previous monthly high of 971 deaths that were registered in the month of September 2020 during the first wave of the epidemic.
The period between April 15 and April 24 alone has now reported 760 deaths compared to the 301 deaths reported across the first three months of the year from January to March and the 333 deaths reported in the first fortnight of April.
The highest number of deaths recorded in a single day in the first wave was 75 deaths in the month of July. In the first wave there were large numbers of deaths in Bengaluru through July (962), August (950), September (971) and October (897) and April 2021 is the first month in the second wave where large numbers of deaths have occurred.
The city is in a partial lockdown condition till May 4 with a near total lockdown on the weekends in an effort to control a crisis that is percieved to spiralling out of control due to the lack of healthcare infrastructure to cope with the nearly 15,000 Covid 19 positive cases being consistently reported everyday in the city over the last few days.
Nearly 70 percent of the active Covid 19 cases reported in Karnataka are in Bengaluru at present. There are 1.62 lakh active cases in Bengaluru out of a total of 2.34 lakh state cases. Nearly 75 percent of the deaths in Karnataka have also occurred in Bengaluru in recent days.
The growing healthcare crisis due to the second wave of the Covid 19 infections has been described as being “scary” by a division bench of the Karnataka high court and the state chief minister B S Yedyiyurappa has said that the situation has gone out of control.
In fresh plans to increase availability of hospital beds for patients the Karnataka government on Saturday issued an order asking all private medical colleges in the state to handover 75 percent of their beds to the state to admit Covid 19 patients.
“75 percent of beds in private medical college hospitals having facilities to treat COVID- 19 patients shall be reserved for the treatment of patients referred by the public health authorities. This will include the HDU and ICU beds both with and without ventilator,” state chief secretary P Ravikumar said in an order.
“Private medical colleges in Bengaluru have reserved 4,000 beds for Covid patients, government medical colleges have reserved 1,000 beds, government hospitals 1,409, and private hospitals 7,442 beds,” the state health minister Dr K Sudhakar has stated .
The health minister has also said that the government also plans to issue an order to take over 80 percent of the beds in private hospitals with bed capacities in excess of 30 beds.
One of the medical experts consulted over the Covid 19 crisis by the state, the chairman and director of the Narayana Health group, Dr Devi Shetty, has warned that the country and the state will soon face a crisis of healthcare manpower on account of the burgeoning cases.
“All the headlines are now on oxygen shortage. But soon the headlines will focus on shortage of doctors and nurses,” Dr Shetty told the state government during consultations.
He has asked Karnataka health authorities to work with the central government to rope in 2.2 lakh nursing students in the country and 1.3 lakh MBBS students preparing for NEET exams to tackle the Covid 19 crisis by offering incentives in recognition of work done in the crisis.
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