At present, there are around 999 ventilator beds which are spread across all hospitals in the state.

Karnataka has received only 90 out of 1300 ventilators it had asked from Union govtRepresentational image/ PTI
news Coronavirus Sunday, June 21, 2020 - 16:35

Though the Karnataka government has gained praise from the Union government for its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, acquisition of ventilators remains a concern for the state. According to officials, out of the 1,300 ventilators that it had asked from the Centre, Karnataka has received only 90. 

Ventilators are important for the survival of COVID-19 patients who need critical care, especially at a time when their own breathing is affected as a result of the viral infection and other related health conditions. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, the state government, through the Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society, had asked for over 1,500 ventilators in March itself. The state had approached the Centre for 1,300 ventilators, while the rest it was to procure from the private sector.

Till date, the Karnataka government has received only 158 units. Out of these, 90 came from Hindustan Lifecare, a public sector unit; 40 came from Skanray (a Mysuru-based company) which received bulk orders, and 28 others came from multiple small vendors. Hindustan Lifecare is due to supply over 1,000 ventilators alone. 

The numbers were confirmed by the Additional Director of Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society, N Manjushree.

However, Dr Om Prakash Patil, the Director of the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department, said that right now, the existing ventilators have not been used since the number of patients requiring ventilator support is currently quite low in the state.

Till date, only 74 patients in the state among the 3,170 active COVID-19 cases who are undergoing treatment in the state have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU). However, the number of patients requiring ventilator support is much less, claim state government officials.

“We have started receiving the ventilators which were in the pipeline already. We will get another 500 ventilators shortly. But at present, utilisation of ventilators is very less. Many might require oxygen supplies. Right now, this is not a reason for worry. But we are working to get them as fast as possible,” Dr Patil told TNM.

At present, there are around 999 ventilator beds which are spread across all hospitals in the state. 

Bengaluru at present has 265 ventilators while neighbouring Bengaluru Rural only has three. While Chitradurga has six ventilator beds, Yadgir and Chamarajanagar districts have seven ventilator beds each, and Chikkamagaluru district has nine ventilator beds.  

However, some districts in the north and coastal parts are ill-equipped to deal with a sudden surge of critical cases. 

Read: COVID-19 exposes lack of beds, inadequate facilities in north Karnataka

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