Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday said that aerospace major Boeing India has come forward to set up a hospital with 200 oxygen beds in Bengaluru.
In a letter addressed to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the chief minister said the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases has led to an exponential demand for oxygen.
“At the present growth rate, Karnataka may require 1500 MT (0xygen) by May 15 based on the consumption norms of government of India as against the allocation of 964 MT,” he said in the letter.
“In this background Boeing India has come forward to set up a 200-oxygenated bed hospital at the KPCL Site in Yelahanka, Bengaluru where there is an assured oxygen supply from the KPCL gas plant. This will help us to lessen the load on the existing oxygen supplies in the state,” he wrote.
The state government has been pleading with the Centre for more allocation of oxygen due to the dire situation in the state, which recorded its highest fatality rate on Friday at 1.21%.
The decision comes on a day when Karnataka reported 592 Covid-related fatalities of which 346 were in Bengaluru. The fatality rate reached a high of 1.21%, according to the daily bulletin of the state health department. The state recorded 48781 new infections that takes its active case count to 536641. The positivity rate was at 30.28%, according to the bulletin. Bengaluru appears to be plateauing with infections steadily in the range of 21376 new cases that takes its active case count to 341978. The death toll in India’s IT capital rose to 7491.
Karnataka got a breather after the Supreme Court on Friday turned down a plea by the central government, seeking a stay on the Karnataka high court order that directed it to immediately increase the supply of medical oxygen to the state from 962 metric tonnes (MT) per day to 1,200 MT per day.
Yediyurappa also requested Boeing to set up a 250-oxygen bed hospital in Kalaburagi, one the worst affected regions outside of Bengaluru. While Bengaluru appears to be peaking with the number of cases, the spike is slowly moving to districts across the state where health infrastructure is far poorer than India’s IT capital.
“The districts in the northern Karnataka, especially Bidar, Kalaburagi, Belagaum and Raichur, are also worst affected by Covid-19 pandemic and the entire region lacks in medical infrastructure facility. There it is requested that Boeing India may please be asked to set up a similar hospital with 250 oxygen beds at Kalaburagi under their CSR activities or otherwise,” he added.
“Thanks @Boeing_In for coming forward to set up two 200 oxygenated bed hospitals in Karnataka for treating COVID-19 cases. Yelahanka(Bengaluru) & Kalaburgi.The latter also to serve Bidar, Belgaum & Raichur. The nodal officers appointed by Hon CM @BSYBJP would expedite the process,” Sitharaman said in a post on Twitter.