Amidst the second wave of COVID-19 and reported shortage of beds, life-saving drugs, and oxygen, the Karnataka Government on Sunday set up a war room to ensure supply of medical oxygen to hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, especially in Bengaluru. Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said, â€śA dedicated war room has been set up at the office of the state Drug Controller in Bengaluru to facilitate availability of medical oxygen in both state-run and private hospitals.â€ť
The setting up of the war room followed complaints of oxygen shortage in hospitals in Bengaluru. On Saturday, Private Hospitals and Nursing Home Association (PHANA) wrote to Sudhakar on the acute shortage of oxygen in their hospitals and nursing homes to treat COVID-19 patients.
"We will supply jumbo cylinders to private hospitals, which do not have liquid oxygen tanks, from state-run hospitals to overcome the shortage and meet the demand," said Sudhakar.
Across the four bottling plants in Karnataka, about 800 tonnes of medical oxygen is produced. However, with more patients reporting to hospitals with low saturation of oxygen, the demand exceeded the supply in spite of the Union government rushing 300 tonnes of oxygen to the state recently.
The Health Minister said that they have urged the Union government to send 7,500 jumbo oxygen cylinders to meet the demand of the soaring cases in the state.
Sudhakar also tweeted that there was no scarcity of oxygen in the state. â€śThere are seven medical oxygen production plants in Karnataka with a daily production capacity of 812 tonnes, while the medical oxygen utilised on Saturday was about 272.61 tonnes. So, I appeal to everyone to not create unnecessary panic about shortage of medical oxygen in the state,â€ť he wrote in his tweet.
There are 7 medical oxygen production plants in Karnataka with a daily production capacity of 812 tonnes, while the medical oxygen utilised on Saturday was about 272.61 tonnes. So I appeal to everyone to not create unnecessary panic about shortage of medical oxygen in the state.â€” Dr Sudhakar K (@mla_sudhakar) April 18, 2021
Karnataka reported 19,067 new cases of COVID-19 of which 12,793 new cases were from Bengaluru. Authorities said that 81 deaths were recorded across the state. The positivity rate also rose to 13.09 % on April 18 from 12.20% on April 17.
(With IANS inputs)