The State has decided to import five lakh vials of Remdesivir and one lakh oxygen concentrators to tide over the COVID-19 crisis. It has also handed senior Cabinet Ministers the responsibility of pandemic management, while district in-charge Ministers have been asked to camp in their districts.
Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar will look after oxygen supply management and liaise with the Centre and oxygen producers to ensure adequate oxygen supply, while Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan have been tasked with addressing the Remdesivir shortage by being in touch with manufacturers and distributors. He has also been asked to get in touch with medical colleges to rope in final-year medical students for COVID-19 management.
Home and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Revenue Minister R. Ashok have been handed the responsibility of coordinating for beds in private and government medical hospitals, while Kannada and Culture Minister Arvind Limbavali has been given the responsibility of the war room, call centre, and counselling of patients.
“We have decided to have more COVID Care Centres in districts and action is being initiated to appoint nursing and medical staff. We have also decided to import five lakh Remdesivir doses and one lakh oxygen concentrators. Furthermore, we are planning to issue isolation kits to patients,” Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa told presspersons on Tuesday after chairing a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the pandemic issue.
He also said that all district in-charge Ministers have been asked to camp in the respective districts to handle the situation better. “They have been empowered to take decisions on the spot and they will have to remain on the ground,” Mr. Yediyurappa said.
Stating that oxygen supply from outside the State was being delayed, the Chief Minister said the Centre had increased allocation. “We have also requested the Centre to allow Karnataka to utilise oxygen from JSW, which has been supplying to Maharashtra since cases there had come down. “Over the past two days, we have been speaking to the Centre on this. Our Central leaders Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal have agreed to it. A decision is expected on this in the next two days,” Mr. Yediyurappa said.
Expressing regret over the Chamarajanagar deaths, he said the State would initiate action against those involved. When asked if the official appointed to probe the incident would provide a fair report, he said that if the report seemed partial, another inquiry would be ordered. On a possibility of announcing compensation for the families of the deceased, Mr. Yediyurappa said a decision would be taken after more discussions.