Bengaluru, March 23, 2020: Karnataka’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, B Sriramulu on Monday said that the government has decided to procure 1,000 new ventilators and five lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Minister Sriramulu and Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan held a meeting with officials from various district administrations on Monday via video conference and have decided to procure 1,000 new ventilators for the state," Sriramulu said in a tweet.
The Health Department officials said that the government is planning to procure the equipment from a Mysuru-based company -- Scan Ray.
"The government has already initiated measures to procure 10 lakh new masks and 5 lakh PPE kits. The Health Department is tackling the situation on a war footing. I request all the people of the state to practise social distancing," Sriramulu said in a tweet.
Health Department officials had earlier told TNM that the state has a total of 800 ventilators including those in private hospitals. The total number of ventilators in government hospitals is just over 400.
"In many places like Hyderabad-Karnataka region, especially in Bidar, Raichur and Kalaburagi, the number of ventilators available is very low. Bengaluru has the most number of ventilators followed by Mysuru. Since most of the patients with COVID-19 across the world suffer from difficulty in breathing, it is necessary to procure the equipment," an official said.
As on Sunday evening, Karnataka reported 26 positive cases of COVID-19. Nine districts including Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Chikkaballapura, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Kodagu, are affected. Commercial establishments except for those selling essential commodities will remain shut till March 31. The state has closed off its borders with other districts and has also begun screening domestic passengers at the Kempegowda International Airport.