More oxygen, Remedesivir needed to control Covid: Yediyurappa to PM

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure supply of 1,471 tonnes of oxygen per day and two lakh dose of Remdesivir for next 10 days.

In his interaction with Modi through video conferencing during the meeting convened by the Prime Minister with 10 other states worst-affected by Covid-19 infection, he maintained that the state had an “adequate number of beds”, but needs more oxygen and Remdesivir supplies.

On oxygen, Yediyurappa told Modi that the government may “have to close down its medical facilities” if the supply was not ensured.

“On April 22 itself, our oxygen consumption stood at 500 tonnes but the allocation from the Union government was at 300 ton. If the supply of oxygen is not adequate, then we will have a tough time in managing patients as this inadequate supply of oxygen might just force us closing down medical facilities,” he told Modi.

He argued that Karnataka needs 1,142 tonnes of oxygen per day from April 25 and 1,471 tonnes of oxygen per day from April 30.

“I have already requested the Union Commerce and Industry minister as well as Union Health and Family Welfare minister to increase our allocation to 1,471 tonnes per day. I request the Prime Minister to issue necessary directions in this regard,” Yediyurappa appealed.

The Chief minister also requested that 7,667 D-type cylinders and 64 oxygen generation plants are needed. “I request the Prime Minister to give directions to the authorities to allot these,” he said.

On the availability of Remdesivir, Yediyurappa claimed that the state government is finding it difficult to procure adequate quantities of the drug, and sought two lakh doses for the next 10 days.

On the vaccination drive in the state, the Chief Minister contended that Karnataka had performed fairly well.

“As many 82 lakh people have been inoculated. From May 1, the new vaccination policy will come into effect. Given the limited production capacity within the country an equitable distribution of vaccines among the states would be helpful,” he suggested.

According to him, Covid cases in Karnataka has started increasing from first week of March and during the last two weeks, the numbers have grown exponentially.

“As many as 25,795 cases were reported from the state on April 22 and the case positivity rate of the state has shot up to 16 per cent, but the case fatality has remained steadily below 0.5 per cent,” he said.

According to him, Bengaluru Urban is the epicentre of this spread although other districts – Tumkuru, Ballari, Mysuru, Hassan and Kalaburgi – are also contributing to number of positive cases.

Yediyurappa said that as of now, the number of active cases in Karnataka stands at 1,96,236 with 1,37,813 of them in Bengaluru alone.

“For containing Covid spread in Bengaluru, eight zones have been created in the city and Ministers have been made incharge. Senior IAS Officers are appointed as Nodal officers to support them to manage Covid-19 situation in Bengaluru city,” he said.

He pointed out at the rate at which the patients are taking ill in the last couple of weeks, he was anticipating more problems in the coming days.

“At the moment, we have permitted opening of step-down hospitals to decrease the load on hospitals. We are also considering setting up field hospitals with Intensive Care Units (ICU) facilities,” he said.

“We have also decided to take 50 percent beds of the private hospitals for admitting patients referred by the government,” he told Modi.