Udayavni Special

No shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients: K Sudhakar


PTI, Sep 19, 2020, 7:33 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka is not facing a shortage of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients, state Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Saturday.

To ensure that the State does not run out of supplies, the government is sourcing oxygen tanks from Gujarat, the Minister said.

Oxygen would be supplied to not only government hospitals but also private hospitals, an official press release quoted him as saying after inaugurating COVID Molecular Lab at Siddhartha Medical College and Research Centre in Tumakuru, nearly 70 km from here.

The lab can conduct 2,000 coronavirus tests per day, the release said.

Recently, a few hospitals faced a shortage of oxygen but the demand was addressed with cooperation from industrial zones at respective districts, he said.

The government is taking measures to make sure there won’t be a shortage in the future.

With the surge in demand for oxygen, the state government had last month directed all the manufacturers of medical oxygen to augment production and supply it without interruption.

It asked hospitals and medical institutions also to contact the Assistant Drugs Controllers of the respective areas to resolve any issue relating to the shortage.

Sudhakar said a cost has been fixed by the government to prevent private hospitals from overcharging, and he requested the public to file complaints if they were being charged exorbitantly.

He said strict action would be taken against hospitals if found fleecing the patients.

However, he said, the allegation of overcharging must be scrutinised.

He said a patient diagnosed with coronavirus could also be suffering from organ failure and other ailments. Therefore, the bills for the treatment for comorbidities should be separate and not be billed for COVID-19 treatment.

Reacting to Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s reported statement that the government has been ignorant of the increasing coronavirus cases in the state, Sudhakar said it is important to note that nearly four lakh people have recovered from the virus out of five lakh cases.

“Compared to the death rate in the country, the state stands at 1.56 per cent. There is no question of ignorance. The opposition leaders must base their statements on the facts and figures and not politicise the ongoing health crisis,” the Minister said.

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