The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch police have arrested a 36-year-old man for black marketing of medical oxygen at 10 times higher than the rate fixed by the government. According to the police, the arrested person has been identified as Ravi Kumar, working as a manager at Siga Gasses Private Limited in Peenya.
The CCB note stated that Ravi Kumar, who is the plant in-charge of Siga Gases at the Peenya Industrial Area in the city, was selling oxygen cylinders for Rs 3,000 per 47 litres of oxygen. "He was selling it at 10 times more than the price fixed by the government. The government rate for 47 litres of oxygen is only Rs 300," a police officer said. He was caught red-handed on Friday while selling two oxygen cylinders of 47 litres each for Rs 6,000, the officer added.
The medical oxygen suppliers' list of the Drugs Control Department of Karnataka shows that this company has two plants — one in Peenya industrial township and another in Bommasandra industrial township. According to this data, Ravi Kumar is in-charge of both the plants, while one Devaraj has been named as the managing director of these plants.
Karnataka has been witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases, and the health infrastructure, especially in Bengaluru, has been stretched thin. A week ago, as many as three hospitals had sounded SOS-es that they were running out of oxygen supply.
On Saturday, Karnataka's total COVID-19 fatality count crossed the 18,000 mark with 482 new deaths, while 47,563 cases took the tally to 18.86 lakh, the health department said. The day also saw 34,881 getting discharged after recovery. Cumulatively, 18,86,448 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 18,286 deaths and 13,19,301 discharges.
Among the deaths reported on Saturday, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 285, Ballari 25, Mysuru 20, Hassan and Shivamogga 13 each, Tumakuru 12, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Kalaburagi 11 each and 10 in Kalaburagi. Deaths were reported in 19 other districts as well.
Bengaluru Urban also topped in infections, recording 21,354 new COVID-19 cases, followed by Tumakuru 2,419, Mysuru 2,294, Kalaburagi 1,661, Bagalkote 1,563, Dakshina Kannada 1,513, Mandya 1,225, Udupi 1043 and 1034 in Uttara Kannada. Thirteen districts reported over 500 cases each. A total of 2.69 crore samples have been tested so far, of which 1,57,027 were on Saturday, the bulletin said.