5 Karnataka ministers made in charge of Covid care

The Karnataka cabinet on Tuesday made five ministers in-charge of various aspects of Covid care across the state.

“Ministers in-charge of the districts will supervise the supply of oxygen, beds, anti-viral drug Remdesivir and other requirements for treating Covid patients in state-run and private hospitals,” said an official statement after the cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

State Industry Minister Jagadish Shettar has been made in-charge of oxygen centres for distribution in the districts and to coordinate with the Central government to ensure its sufficient supply.

“Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayana will coordinate with all state-run and private medical colleges across the state to ensure adequate supply of Remdesivir and human resources,” the statement said.

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Revenue Minister R. Ashoka will ensure availability of beds in state-run and private hospitals for treating Covid patients.

Forests and Envirnment Minister Arvind Limbavali will be in-charge of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) war room, which monitors Covid cases across the state capital.

The cabinet has decided to make use of the entire medical oxygen produced by JSW Industrial Gases Ltd at Ballari for Covid patients, the statement said.

Though Jindal Steel Works (JSW) subsidiary produces 130 tonnes of liquid oxygen daily, it has been supplying 80 tonnes to the state and sending 50 tonnes to neighbouring Maharashtra, which has been recording more Covid cases.

“As Covid cases in Maharashtra are on decline, the cabinet has requested the Central government to allot the 50 tonnes for the state, where cases are on the rise,” said the statement.

The cabinet has also decided to treat media persons as frontline warriors in the fight against the pandemic and vaccinate all of them free.

According to the state Health Department bulletin, a record 44,631 new cases have been reported, taking the state’s Covid tally to 16,90,934 so far, with 4,64,363 active cases.

Bengaluru registered 20,870 fresh cases in a day, taking its Covid tally to 8,40,274, including 3,01,712 active cases.

The infection claimed 292 lives, including 132 in Bengaluru during the day, taking the state’s death toll to 16,538 and the city’s toll to 6,845.

Positivity rate rose to 29.03 per cent and case fatality rate to 0.65 per cent across the state on Monday.