Home CORONA Karnataka Health Minister admits to govt’s failure to control Covid second wave

Karnataka Health Minister admits to govt’s failure to control Covid second wave

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Sudhakar accepts that Karnataka would have been in a better position if govt had taken steps recommended by TAC earlier

BENGALURU:

Who should be blamed for the huge spike in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru? Why are infected people not getting oxygen or ventilator beds in Bengaluru? Or in other districts?…These are some of the questions for which every citizen wants answers from the Karnataka government.

TheBengaluruLive story published on April 23, ‘Sleeping’ Karnataka Health Department has missed chance to ramp up oxygen, ventilator beds https://thebengalurulive.com/sleeping-karnataka-health-department-has-missed-chance-to-ramp-up-oxygen-ventilator-beds/ had highlighted the clear failure of the state Health Department in this respect. But for the first time, Karnataka’s Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar has gone on record accepting the failure of the administration, and is quoted as saying: “If we had perhaps taken the measures that we took now about three weeks ago, we would have been in a better position.”

Sudhakar’s shocking confession was made in an interview given to The New Indian Express, in which he acknowledged that the Technical Advisory Committee had warned of a second wave and had suggested strict measures. “But the government had a challenging task of striking a balance between saving lives and livelihoods. We took a calibrated approach, instead of a complete lockdown. I agree that if we had perhaps taken the measures that we took now about three weeks ago, we would have been in a better position,” he said.

Where are the figures?

Though Dr Sudhakar claimed that the state Health Department had made adequate arrangements to tackle the second wave, he provided few figures on beds/ventilators/ICUs, etc.

He was asked by the reporter: “We are witnessing the same problems we faced during the first wave, like shortage of beds. Why did we not make adequate preparation when we had time? What is being done to increase bed strength now?”

In reply, the Minister said: “Our medical infrastructure, be it testing labs, beds, ventilators or ICUs, has been stepped up significantly. Last year in February, we had only two labs for testing, we now have 192, with a capacity to test nearly 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh samples a day. Since March 2020, oxygenated beds have been increased from 1,970 to 23,884.”

Even with regard to the Minister’s claim that oxygenated beds have been increased from 1,970 to 23,884, no district-wise date was furnished, and neither were details of ventilators given.

Govt claims vs ground reality

Sadly, the ground reality currently is that Bengaluru in particular is facing an acute shortage of ventilator beds. Since a week now, with a peak in cases being witnessed in the state capital, desperate people are not able to find ventilator beds in government-run or even in private hospitals.

Also Read: Karnataka Govt in panic mode: Don’ step out of homes, pleads CS https://thebengalurulive.com/karnataka-govt-in-panic-mode-don-step-out-of-homes-pleads-cs/

Also Read: Is a 14-day Karnataka lockdown round the corner? https://thebengalurulive.com/is-a-14-day-karnataka-lockdown-round-the-corner/

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