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Karnataka CM requests Centre to provide 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen daily amid Covid surge

Meanwhile, amid the crisis, JSW Steel has agreed to supply 400 metric tonnes of liquefied oxygen daily to Karnataka to treat Covid-19 patients.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
April 21, 2021 10:10:38 pm
KarnatakaKarnataka hospitals have been facing oxygen shortage for the last few days since the state has been recording over 20,000 cases every day. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has requested the Centre to provide 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen daily to the state, said Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K Sudhakar in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters regarding measures taken by the government to control the spread of coronavirus, he said, “I have also appealed to the Centre to provide additional oxygen and we are hopeful that the Centre will respond positively to our request.”

Karnataka hospitals have been facing oxygen shortage for the last few days since the state has been recording over 20,000 cases every day. On Wednesday the state reported 23,558 new cases, taking the total caseload to 12,22,202. A total of 116 people died due to Covid-19, taking the overall death count to 13,762. The state’s capital city, Bengaluru alone reported 13,640 cases and 70 deaths.

Speaking on the rising demand for oxygen in the state, Sudhakar said, “300 tonnes of oxygen is being earmarked for Karnataka. Since cases are increasing, we may need 500 to 600 tonnes of oxygen by this month-end and 1,500 tonnes by next month-end. The Chief Minister has appealed to the Centre to provide additional quantities of oxygen. I have also requested the Union government to supply additional oxygen.”

“There is anxiety among people to get hospitalised soon after they are tested positive. 95% positive cases do not require hospitalisation. They can be isolated at their homes and treated. Our doctors are visiting the home-isolated patients and rendering consultation. Information regarding do’s and don’ts will be circulated,” Sudhakar added.

The Karnataka government has decided to isolate patients with mild symptoms at alternative arrangements in hotels. “It will be difficult to provide treatment to the severely affected people if mild symptomatic patients are admitted to hospitals. We need to provide oxygen and ventilators to the severely symptomatic patients. Doctors should take the call on this depending on the severity of the cases,” said the minister.

According to Sudhakar, 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 beds and private hospitals 7,442 beds for the patients. The minister further informed that the web portal contains all the information regarding bed availability and the system will be implemented across the state.

JSW steel to provide Karnataka with 400 metric tonnes of oxygen

Amid the crisis, JSW Steel has agreed to supply 400 metric tonnes of liquefied oxygen daily to Karnataka to treat Covid-19 patients.

The decision was taken after a meeting between Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R Nirani and the representatives of JSW Steel led by Deputy Managing Director Dr Vinod Nowal.

“Amidst worsening situation in the state, Nirani took the initiative to augment the supply of oxygen to hospitals. He convened a meeting with representatives of several steel companies who produce liquefied oxygen in their plants for their use in steel production,” the minister’s office said in a statement.

Nirani urged steel companies in the state to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and produce oxygen on a war footing and supply them to hospitals on a priority basis.

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