Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar also said that the government is also contemplating buying two lakh vials of Remdesivir

Karnataka to get at least 2000 makeshift ICU beds in 15 days Health Min Sudhakar
news Coronavirus Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:07

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has directed private hospitals to establish make-shift hospitals in Bengaluru, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Friday. The minister also said that the government is also contemplating buying two lakh vials of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug used in COVID-19 treatment that is in short supply.

This comes after an alarming rise in the number of cases in the state. On April 23, Bengaluru saw 16,662 new COVID-19 cases.

Speaking to the media, Sudhakar said, “In 15 days, at least 2,000 makeshift ICU beds will be ready. 800 of them will have ventilators.” He said that 250 ICU beds will be set up at the Victoria Hospital campus and in another new building, 150-200 ICU beds will be arranged.

The minister further said that makeshift hospitals will also be set up at Bowring, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Disease (RGICD) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) hospitals.

He added that he has spoken with Biocon Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw to supply 10,000 vials of Remdesivir in 10 days, and 50-60,000 more vials within a month. Sudhakar added that they are in touch with private suppliers of the drug. “We are also trying to directly procure two lakh vials from abroad. We are seeking the Union government’s approval for this,” said Sudhakar.

The Minister, speaking about their plan of action in containing the pandemic in a video conference by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said that the state was directed to strengthen home isolation and tele-medication [distance treatment] to reduce the burden on the healthcare system and those engaged in the profession. People in home isolation can call 1912 to seek help and guidance, said the health minister.

Later in the day Sudhakar held a conference with district health officers, heads of medical colleges, district surgeons and other health officials of all districts and directed to keep an eye on the positivity rate. The Minister also suggested DHOs to work in collaboration and ensure availability of beds, especially, in neighbouring districts.

(With PTI inputs)

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