Karnataka

Dharwad may see shortage of medical oxygen

Dharwad district may be looking at a shortage of medical oxygen in the next couple of days if the allocation is not increased in accordance with the number of patients from north Karnataka pouring into the district for advanced treatment.

The Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and Hospital is the preferred choice for most patients.

Private multi-speciality hospitals are also another reason for the increased inflow to Hubballi. This seems to be the likely cause of shortage of medical oxygen in the coming days.

On Saturday, the district saw around 2,050 active cases of COVID-19 being treated in various hospitals and nearly 413 of them were from other districts according to official data. However, this is not the actual number as many usually give a local address of a relative or friend. A rough estimate puts the number at nearly 37% of the total numbers.

“Most of these patients come to Hubballi with advanced stages of the infection and are in need of either oxygen support or ventilators. The high rate of infection is daily adding to the growing numbers of new cases. While the administration has made arrangements, the sheer number of patients from outside may upset them and shoot up the demand for oxygen,” said an official.

Dharwad currently needs 45 tonnes of medical oxygen daily and is able to manage the active cases at present. However in the likelihood of more cases with oxygen requirement, it would be difficult to manage it, said another source.

Another cause of worry seems to be the need for providing oxygen to the additional beds being made available. Makeshift hospitals coming up in the district and additional beds being provided in other government hospitals are likely to further increase the demand for more oxygen.

In a welcome move, private hospitals in the district have come forward to earmark 15% to 20% beds over and above those stipulated by the government. What is concerning for the district administration is how to provide oxygen support to them if the allocation to the district is not increased.

While the officials have reportedly informed the higher-ups, nobody wants to be officially quoted as it would send a wrong message. But internally they admit that if the allocation is not increased the situation may become difficult to handle.

When contacted, Minister for Large and Medium Industries and district in charge Jagadish Shettar said that efforts were on to get the 1,200 MT allocated to the State. “We are trying to get more oxygen allocated to Dharwad district in particularly Hubballi,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 12:08:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dharwad-may-see-shortage-of-medical-oxygen/article34518041.ece

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