More oxygen concentrators for Covid-hit Karnataka districts

With the virus spreading to rural areas in the pandemic’s second wave, 25 oxygen concentrators would be provided to Karnataka districts having more Covid cases, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Thursday.

“We have decided to provide 25 oxygen concentrators to each district reporting more positive cases for treating patients in state-run hospitals,” he told reporters after a review meeting here.

He said that the state has recently received 800 oxygen concentrators from the Centre.

Of the state’s 31 districts, about 20 of them have been reporting more than 500 positive cases daily due to the virus spread.

The Ballari, Belagavi, Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Hassan, Kolar, Mysuru and Tumakur districts have been reporting over 1,000 cases daily over the last three weeks.

The state Health Department is also providing more intensive care units, oxygen cylinders and ventilators to hospitals attached with state-run and private medical colleges where Covid patients are treated.

“The state government has sanctioned Rs 50,000 to each gram panchayat for Covid management in the affected villages across the state,” said the minister.

With average positivity rate across the state at 27 per cent, Sudhakar said efforts were on to reduce it to 5 per cent and contain the pandemic.

Denying that testing has reduced of late in the state, the minister said over 1.25 lakh rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests were being conducted daily and testing would be ramped up to assess the positivity rate in each district.