Updated: May 14, 2021 7:41:36 am
A DAY after the Karnataka High Court asked the state government to place before it a plan within two weeks on preparations for the third wave of the Covid pandemic predicted by experts, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced a panel for the same.
Yediyurappa said the government was setting up a task force to prepare for the third wave under the chairmanship of Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health.
The court, that has been hearing Covid-related matters since the first wave last year, told the government to submit a plan including estimated requirements for beds, oxygen, drugs and medical personnel.
The judges noted that the state, among the top in cases and deaths, was short of Covid beds. “In written submissions, the state government has stated that in the entire state, 45,754 beds supported by oxygen, 5,305 ICU beds and 4,019 beds with ventilators were available as on 5th May 2021. However, the requirement projected by the Central government is 66,333 oxygen supported beds, 13,969 ICU beds and 8,382 ventilator beds.”
The court also talked of the “very critical” situation in Bengaluru, noting that in a city seeing 15,000-odd cases daily, “at 2.45 pm today (May 12), 49 HDU beds, 16 ICU beds and 7 ICU beds with ventilators were available”.
It asked the government to provide a district-wise chart of bed availability and future requirements by May 18.
The government argued that it had substantially improved the bed situation, from 1,970 oxygenated beds, 444 ICU beds and 610 ventilator beds with the Department of Health and Family Welfare in March last year to 24,000 oxygenated beds, 1,145 ICU beds and 2,058 ventilator beds now.
On Thursday, a Division Bench led by Chief Justice Abhay Sreeniva Oka asked the state government to ensure that Covid-19 test results are furnished within 24 hours, following the death of a 45-year-old court staffer who provided a sample for testing on May 10 but had not got a report till May 12 when he died.
“We direct that the state government shall again issue a direction to all the laboratories to ensure that such incidents are not repeated,” the Bench said, while ordering action against the authorities responsible for the delay in S V Muniraju’s test report. “We are not taking up the matter because the person concerned was an employee of this court. We are worried about the non-implementation of the orders of this court and the lives of citizens,” the court said.
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