PM Modi promises supplies of oxygen, Remdesivir to Karnataka on CM’s request

Yediyurappa Karnataka

Bengaluru, Apr 23: Responding to Chief Minister (CM) B S Yediyurappa’s appeal for urgent supply of 1,471 tonnes of daily requirement of oxygen and 2 lakh doses of Remdesivir injections for treatment of Covid positive patients, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has promised to ensure the supplies to Karnataka.

The Prime Minister, who held a video conference with the Chief Ministers of 10 States highly affected by the Second Wave of the Covid pandemic on Friday, has assured the Chief Ministers that the Centre was ready to increase production and supplies of oxygen and Remdesivir injections for the treatment of Covid patients and sought the wholehearted cooperation from the State Governments with the Centre to effectively control the pandemic.

Terming the surge in cases during the second wave as a disaster, Modi underlined the need for strengthening and reforming the healthcare system. He called upon the States to take precautions and follow the measures outlined under the Covid control guidelines stringently so as to ensure needless hospitalization.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for ensuring effective and proper use of oxygen and also minimizing wastage and asked the States to carry out audit of oxygen usage to prevent wastage. The State Government should also smoothen the seamless transport of oxygen tankers. More importantly, it is necessary to instill confidence in the people, Modi said.

The Prime Minister wanted the States to take effective steps to curb panic buying of oxygen and remdesivir injections to ensure proper usage. The continued spike in infections and positive cases was posing a serious burden on the human resources, he said advising the States to take steps for utilizing the services of retired health staff.

Karnataka’s Oxygen Requirement Increasing

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa explained the measures implemented by Karnataka for controlling the surge in the Second Wave of Covid pandemic in the State and also highlighted the situation. He also urged the Prime Minister to ensure supply of 1,471 tonnes of oxygen per day to the State for the treatment of the patients.

The usage of oxygen was increasing on a daily basis, the Chief Minister said pointing out that the usage in the State on Thursday was 500 tonnes while the Centre has allotted barely 300 tonnes. “If the situation (of present shortage in supplies) continued, the State may be forced to close down several health service centres,’’ he said.

Yediyurappa explained that that Karnataka needs 1,142 tonnes of oxygen from April 25 as per the norms prescribed the Government of India. The State will need 1,471 tonnes of oxygen from April 30 onwards, he said appealing the Prime Minister to allocate 1,471 tonnes of oxygen per day after clearing the deficit.

The Chief Minister said the Covid positive cases was increasing in the State every day and the positivity rate was as high as 16%. While Bengaluru has seen a sharp spike in the cases, Tumakuru, Ballari, Mysuru, Hassan and Kalaburgi districts have also reported increasing number of cases.

The State Government has taken a series of measures to prevent gathering of large number of people in public places as part of the Covid control measures even while trying its best to ensure that economic activity was not seriously hindered by the curbs and controls.

Karnataka has taken several measures for improving the infrastructure facilities in the government hospitals during the last six months, which has proved to be beneficial in handling the present situation.

However, in order to increase availability of beds for treating Covid patients, the State Government has taken steps to avail 50% of beds from private hospitals. If the situation warrants, the State Government is willing to establish ‘step-down’ hospitals through the collaboration of private hospitals with the hotels in their neighbourhood in the coming months, the Chief Minister said adding that a decision will be taken based on demand and the necessity.

State Needs 2 lakh doses of Remdesivir for next 10 days

Yediyurappa urged the Prime Minister to ensure supply of 2 lakh doses of Remdesivir injections to the State so as not to cause any serious problems in the next 10 days.

The Chief Minister also explained the special measures taken by the State Government to curb the spike in the Covid positive cases and for the treatment of the patients. In addition, ministers have been entrusted with the responsibility of supervising the Covid management in the 8 zones in the City while senior IAS and IPS officers have also been appointed as nodal officers.

The Vaccination drive was in full progress in the State, he said adding that the State has already vaccinated 82 lakh people. He urged the Centre to ensure that uniform allotment of vaccines to all States in view of the new vaccine policy coming into force from May 1.

As of now, the number of active cases in the State is 1,96,236 with 1,37,813 active cases being in Bengaluru. The case fatality continues to be below 0.5%. However, the number of deaths are increasing due to high number of new cases reported, he said.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhkar, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Chief Secretary P Ravikumar and other senior government officials participated in the video conference from the Chief Minister’s official residence Cauvery.

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