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Karnataka halves supply of medical oxygen to hospitals as Covid-19 cases dip

The daily consumption of oxygen by the hospitals have plummeted by over 35 per cent from a peak of around 830 MT per day to 529 MT in recent days.

As Covid-19 cases continue to dip, the medical oxygen allocation for hospitals in Karnataka has been reduced by 54 per cent from 1,200 metric tonnes (MT) per day to 552 MT.

The daily consumption by the hospitals have also plummeted by over 35 per cent from a peak of around 830 MT per day to 529 MT in recent days.

The state nodal officer for oxygen supply issued a revised allocation of oxygen supply for the state on June 9 and has pegged the allocation at 552 MT per day including, 180 MT for the Bengaluru region — the region which required the most as it was the worst-hit by the second wave of the pandemic.

At the peak of the crisis in May, the state required 830 MT of oxygen per day of which Bengaluru city alone needed 285 MT.

When cases had peaked, Karnataka was allocated 1,200 MT of oxygen supply, following the intervention of the High Court. However, it managed to get only around 850 MT on a daily basis from suppliers within the state.

Before the intervention of the High Court, 765 MT of oxygen was allotted to hospitals by the state government, with 252 MT reserved for Bengaluru.

Prior to the increase in the allocation, hospitals in the Chamarajnagar, Kalaburagi and Kolar districts in Karnataka saw multiple deaths due to alleged shortage of oxygen between April 26 and May 7.

Over the last two weeks, Covid-19 cases have reduced significantly across the state and as such, the demand for oxygenated beds has also dropped.

The five-day running average of Covid 19 cases in Karnataka has dipped from 40,000 in the middle of May to 10,000 on June 9.

“We try to allocate oxygen based on the actual consumption and patient load,” a state official. There is also enough buffer stock of oxygen in the districts, officials added.

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