COVID-19: Yediyurappa, Ministers vociferously defend their work

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, flanked by his Cabinet colleagues, addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday.  

Under intense public scrutiny and attack from the Opposition over COVID-19 management across the State, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his Cabinet colleagues came out on Thursday to vociferously defend their work.

Doling out statistics on beds and supply of oxygen, medicines, and vaccines available in the State, and the support from the Centre, Mr. Yediyurappa, flanked by his Cabinet colleagues at a nearly hourlong press conference, gave an impression that Karnataka was doing much better in comparison with other States. Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, in particular, said Karnataka was among the best in the country in COVID-19 management.

While the Opposition has been a vocal critic of the Centre over oxygen supply, some of the statistics laid out by the Chief Minister also pointed at it. According to Mr. Yediyurappa, while the Union government increased oxygen allocation from 965 tonnes to 1,015 tonnes, currently 765 tonnes is available. Nearly 250 tonnes is coming from Odisha and Visakhapatnam.

“We received 1,050 MT of oxygen on May 11 and have received 800 MT on May 12. The entire allocation to the State and what is available in the State is being completely used. Attempts are being made to get oxygen from other States and efforts are on to increase oxygen production,” he added.

However, Dr. Narayan claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen in the State currently, and efforts were being made to have a buffer stock of oxygen. “The needs of all hospitals have been met.” The earlier problem was that the demand went up by about 100 to 150 tonnes in March as consumption drastically increased, he added.

The Chief Minister said that of the 127 oxygen production units being established, 62 were being funded by the State while 27 were being funded by the Centre and 24 by the NHAI. Of the about 10,000 oxygen cylinders to be procured to meet the demand in districts, the State had bought 730 cylinders and the Centre had given 380.

With respect to Remdesivir allocation, Mr. Yediyurappa said that of the 3.01 lakh vials allocated to Karnataka between April 21 and May 9, about 2.77 lakh vials had been supplied so far. Between May 10 and 16, the State had been allocated 2.74 lakh vials. “Due to increase in demand, we have asked the Centre to allocate from the quota of other States where it has not been used,” he added.

The Chief Minister also said that the cases and positivity rate were on the decline in Bengaluru, Bidar, and Kalaburagi owing to strict lockdown. “There is no need to panic. Accept strict lockdown and only then we can get expected results,” he requested.

2,000 oxygenated beds added

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister R. Ashok accused private medical colleges and private hospitals of furnishing false data on oxygenated beds, and physical inspection of hospitals had led to additional 2,106 oxygenated beds made available to the public in the last one week. He also said that 1,635 COVID care centres with oxygen were also functioning in Bengaluru.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 12:45:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-yediyurappa-ministers-vociferously-defend-their-work/article34552471.ece

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