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Monday, May 10, 2021

Karnataka Covid wrap: State establishes war room for oxygen, Remdevisir supply

As per an order issued by the State Drug Controller, 26 officers and government staff have been appointed to operate the war room.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 22, 2021 9:36:23 am
Dr. K Sudhakar, Tejasvi Surya, R AshokaDr. K Sudhakar, Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, and Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya during a meeting with representatives of oxygen production plants in the state earlier this week.

The Karnataka government Wednesday began operating a war room in Bengaluru to look into the supply of medical oxygen and Remdesivir at hospitals in Bengaluru.

“In order to ensure timely & sufficient supply of Oxygen and #Remdesivir a 24/7 war room has been established with staff working round the clock in 3 shifts,” Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar confirmed in a tweet.

As per an order issued by the State Drug Controller, 26 officers and government staff have been appointed to operate the war room. The development comes in the wake of several hospitals in the state, especially in Bengaluru, continuing to report a shortage of medical oxygen since last week with the Covid-19 caseload increasing manifolds.

Earlier this week, Sudhakar, Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, and Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya had met representatives of oxygen production plants in the state in a bid to streamline the process. After the meeting, Shettar held a discussion with top officials to discuss various measures to tackle issues related to oxygen shortage experienced in the state.

Further, in a bid to address oxygen supply issues reported from Chamarajanagar district, the state government installed a new medical oxygen plant at Chamarajanagar District Hospital. “The medical oxygen plant has six-kilo litre capacity and will be operational very soon,” Sudhakar said.

Chamarajnagar, Oxygen plant The medical oxygen plant at Chamarajanagar District Hospital.

The war room is also expected to help resolve several issues pointed out by volunteers working on field to help critically-ill patients get admitted to hospitals and to further treatment using Remdesivir, an antiviral drug used as an emergency measure to treat patients diagnosed with severe Covid-19 infection.

“The government’s move to open a war room is welcome. Better late than never as black market and fake sellers were on the rise in Bengaluru, Mysuru and in other parts of the state,” a volunteer from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) set up by individuals and members of various NGOs and other organisations in Bengaluru told

Earlier this week, Mysuru City Police had arrested a staff nurse working at a private hospital for allegedly refilling cheap antibiotic medicines or saline solution in empty vials of Remdesivir for sale to needy patients.

Last Saturday, the Central Crime Branch had arrested three people in Bengaluru for their alleged involvement in stocking and selling Remdesivir.

Bangalore University allows work from home to teaching, non-teaching staff

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic situation, the Bangalore University Wednesday allowed its teaching and non-teaching staff to work from home. While the teaching staff has been directed to take online classes till May 4, non-teaching staff can continue to do so till April 30, an order issued by Vice-Chancellor Venugopal K R mentioned.

“The teaching staff shall submit the work done statement through Google forms through the respective Chairperson of the Department. The staff of essential services, however, shall continue to work from their respective offices,” Venugopal clarified.

VTU first sem exams to continue, even semester classes to begin from May 19

In the wake of Karnataka announcing new measures such as a weekend curfew and extended night curfew timings till May 4, the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Wednesday clarified that the ongoing examinations held for first-semester undergraduate engineering students shall continue, “as per academic requirement.”

“The first semester examinations will be conducted as per the schedule notified with all precautions and safety measures in place,” Registrar Prof A S Deshpande said. He added that students who might miss the examination due to the pandemic situation will be allowed to attend the exams later. “Such students will be permitted to take the missed examination during the even semester exams conducted next, and shall be treated as first attempt.”

Covid-19 second wave: SWR shuts Mysuru Rail Museum, Malgudi Museum

In a bid to comply with the guidelines/SOPs issued by the central and state governments, the South Western Railway (SWR) Wednesday decided to close the Mysuru Rail Museum and Malgudi Museum at Arasalu railway station for public, beginning April 22. “The dates of reopening will be decided after assessing the overall situation,” a statement issued by SWR read.

Dakshina Kannada: DC clarifies ’50 attendees for marriage’ rule, passes mandatory for guests

A day after the state government announced that a maximum of 50 guests were allowed to take part in marriage functions held between April 21 (9 pm) to May 4 (6 am), the Dakshina Kannada district administration clarified that the number would include all attendees and not just the guests.

“The attendees allowed for marriage functions has been fixed at 50. This includes priests, wedding photographers and others,” Deputy Commissioner K V Rajendra said. He added that a list of guests attending the wedding needs to be submitted in advance to the DC’s office after which passes would be issued. Police officials would then check the wedding card, pass and an ID proof before allowing guests in, he explained.

CM directs district-in-charge ministers to ensure Covid-19 situation does not worsen

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa Wednesday directed all ministers in charge of various districts in the state to ensure that the Covid-19 situation does not worsen further. “The ministers should encourage the general public to adhere to the guidelines and should lead various measures taken to contain the pandemic. The ministers should also be responsible to ensure that the situation does not escalate,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office read.

116 more deaths, 23,558 new infections as positivity rate up at 15.47%

As many as 116 more fatalities across the state (70 in Bengaluru Urban alone) were linked to Covid-19 by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services on Wednesday, as the cumulative death toll rose to 13,762.

The youngest among the deceased was a 23-year-old male patient from Bengaluru, diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) while being admitted to a private hospital on April 20. The oldest among fatalities confirmed in the last 24 hours was a 93-year-old male patient admitted with SARI to a private hospital in Bengaluru on April 9.

Meanwhile, the state reported 23,558 new infections as the active caseload spiked to 1,76,188. With 13,640 new cases, the number of active cases in Bengaluru Urban alone is at 1.25 lakh.

At the same time, 12 more districts out of the total 30 reported over 300 new cases. These are Mysuru (975), Ballari (792), Kalaburagi (757), Bengaluru Rural (544), Udupi (471), Hassan (445), Mandya (492), Dakshina Kannada (401), Dharwad (379), Kolar (369), Vijayapura (335), and Belagavi (301).

While 60,248 people were vaccinated on Wednesday (till 3.30 pm), 6412 others recovered from the infection.

Bengaluru: 66 pvt hospitals get notice for failing to reserve Covid beds

As many as 66 private hospitals in the city were served notices by local civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for not adhering to the government order directing them to reserve 50 per cent of the total beds for Covid-19 patients referred by the government.

The list shared by BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta mentioned big-chain hospitals like Apollo, Narayana Health, M S Ramaiah and ACE Suhas, Ananya, Blossom Fertility Centre, and Artyem among others.

Gupta said the government was planning to get over 11,000 beds in total in the next few days. “We started with 4,300 beds which have now gone up to 7,000 beds,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, Columbia Asia Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Vikram Hospital, and Aster CMI Hospital were served notices for violating the same rule. “They responded positively by doing the needful within 48 hours,” a BBMP official added.

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