Private hospitals in Karnataka would reserve 50 per cent of beds for treating Covid patients amid surging cases during the pandemic’s second wave, said state Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Monday.

“Private hospitals across the state have been directed to reserve 50 per cent of their beds for Covid patients as they did during the pandemic’s first wave last year,” Sudhakar told reporters after a virtual meeting with the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (Phana) members.

According to the state health bulletin, 9,579 new cases were reported across the state on Sunday, with 6,387 from Bengaluru, while the infection claimed 52 lives, including 40 in this tech city during the last 24 hours.

“Asymptomatic patients will be isolated in Covid care centres, hotels and their homes so that patients in serious condition can be treated in state-run and private hospitals,” said Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession.

Of the 470 patients in the intensive care units (ICUs), 176 are in Bengaluru hospitals, followed by 48 in Kolar, 44 in Kalaburagi, 29 in Mysuru, 21 in Bidar and 20 in Tumakuru, with the rest spread in the remaining 25 districts across the state.

As private hospitals complained of Remdesivir shortage, Sudhakar said the drug controller would be directed to supply it to them at government rate.

“We have also taken measures to supply sufficient ventilators and oxygen to all hospitals for treating Covid patients admitted in their ICUs,” he asserted.

Noting that experience over the last year in fighting the first wave was helping the state government in tackling the second wave, Sudhakar said steps were being taken to contain the virus spread.

“The technical advisory committee of experts has assessed the situation for the next 2 months and advised measures to contain the second wave, which is expected to peak in the first week of May,” the Minister said.

Admitting that strict measures are in place to contain the virus spread amid economic slowdown in the state, Sudhakar said people should cooperate with the state government by adhering to the Covid guidelines to control the pandemic.

“Though there is no move to impose lockdown now, our appeal to the public is to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour and prevent the government from making it (lockdown) inevitable,” added Sudhakar.

–IANS

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