Karnataka on Saturday decided to utilise the District Mineral Foundation’s (DMF) fund to purchase 10 each oxygen tankers, 1,000 oxygen concentrators, pulse-oximeters, emergency medical needs and set up oxygen plants to tide over the second Covid wave crisis.
Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R. Nirani told media that the state government has decided to utilise the funds available under the DMF fund to tackle the public health crisis caused by the pandemic.
Nirani said that the increasing number of cases in the districts and particularly in rural areas was a cause of concern for the state government, hence, it was decided to utilise available funds in each district.
“We will procure 10 cryogenic oxygen tankers. Of these 10 tankers, two tankers each will be provided to four revenue divisions in the state and remaining.
Two oxygen tankers will be sent to the coastal region. The Regional Commissioners will be given the power to manage and monitor the movements of these oxygen tankers in their jurisdictional areas,” he said.
Nirani added that that it was decided to set up oxygen generation plants at ten district hospitals to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to patients.
“Two each in four revenue divisions and two plants exclusively for the coastal region in the state,” Nirani said, adding that the health department would guide the mines and geology department to set-up these oxygen plants and tankers.
The minister also stated that the state government will procure a large number of pulse-oximeters so that the patients can regularly check oxygen saturation level and take necessary steps accordingly.
“The pulse-oximeters will be given to health committees at Gram Panchayat level. Providing pulse-oximeters at gram panchayat level will greatly help the villages as it will prompt them to seek timely medical care in case of dip in oxygen saturation level,” he explained.
Nirani said that the mines and geology department will also procure 1000 oxygen concentrators and distribute them in all districts.
The DMF funds was instituted in March 2015, under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015.