The Impact of COVID-19 in Karnataka
In India, the coronavirus epidemic has wrecked the medical system, with deaths
occurring in ambulances and public parks outside hospitals, as well as overloaded
crematoriums. Hundreds of hospitals in a number of Indian cities and towns have run
out of oxygen.
On March 8, 2020, the first case of the COVID-19 pandemic was verified in the Indian
state of Karnataka. Two days later, the state became the first in India to use the
clauses of India's Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to halt the disease's spread for a
Rise of COVID-19 in the State
The Karnataka Task Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has asked the state government to
enforce stringent restrictions, including a 14-day lockdown, to break the chain
after Bengaluru reported 150,000 active coronavirus cases on April 24, 2021, the
highest for any city in the world. The panel's representatives have also advised the
government to increase the number of beds available to help alleviate the crisis.
TAC members also expect the third wave of COVID to arrive in October-November and
have demanded that the government finish immunizing vulnerable age groups before the
next wave arrives.
The death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic in Karnataka has risen to 23,306 as the
Department of Health and Family Welfare has attributed more deaths in the last few
days to the epidemic. Bengaluru Urban alone was responsible for 15,879 of the 39,510
new infections. So far, 23.1L infections and 23,306 deaths have been recorded in
In the meantime, the state's active caseload increased to 5,87,452 cases. So far,
14,05,869 people have been released, with 22,584 released on Tuesday. According to
the health bulletin, the state inoculated 1.26 lakh people, including 20,278 people
aged 18 to 44.
As a destructive second wave of COVID-19 infection wreaks devastation in India, one
of the most major challenges has been a lack of medical oxygen to treat patients.
Individuals and hospitals have used digital platforms to seek oxygen supplies, and
some hospitals have gone to the judiciary to request that their oxygen supply be
Several hospitals in Bengaluru have issued oxygen requests, with some also requesting
that patients who have already been admitted find another bed because they are
running out of the life-sustaining gas.
The news comes on the heels of the deaths of 23 COVID-19 patients in the state's
Chamarajanagar district in less than a day, with at least some of the deaths due to
a lack of oxygen in the district hospital.
In an effort to jump-start the state's economy, the Karnataka government declared on
April 23 a conditional relaxation of lockdown restrictions by exempting certain
economic activity in the state. The relaxations, on the other hand, do not apply in
the defined containment zones. Outside of city limits, the majority of
manufacturing, construction, and food processing units were exempted. Hotels and
homestays where people were stranded due to the lockout were permitted to open, as
well as various supply chain facilities at railway stations, seaports, and airports.
The majority of services rendered by self-employed individuals, such as plumbers,
technicians, and carpenters, were also permitted. Officials stressed, however, that
various District Administrations would clear all exemptions after reviewing people's
compliance with the lockdown guidelines in their respective regions, and that
relaxations would be subject to strict adherence to social distancing norms and
The government's orders on Friday to close places of trade, manufacturing, and social
activity to prevent coronavirus cases from spreading have seen the city descend into
a virtual ghost town in only the first 24 hours of the lockdown. The city's buying
and economic strength has dwindled at the same time. As financial experts from all
walks of life struggled to figure out how much money had been lost, B. T. Manohar, a
tax expert for the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
cautioned that the state treasury would lose Rs 2,000 crore in GST and sales tax
revenue alone if the shutdown lasted even a week.
Helping Hands & Precautionary Measures
On May 18, the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced the
opening of a 150-bed oxygenated Covid treatment centre on the grounds of the
Kempegowda International Airport. The facility will include a pharmacy,
pathology unit, nurses' station, showers, and a dining area, according to BIAL
officials. While appropriate drinking water facilities and visitor areas will be
established, an ambulance will be on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week
to respond to emergencies. The centre will also ensure that waste, including
bio-waste, is properly disposed of.
- The BBMP, Bengaluru's local civic body, named 198 nodal officers on Wednesday,
one for each of the city's wards. The nodal officers have been directed by BBMP
Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta to facilitate the establishment and operation of
a Decentralised Triage and Emergency Response (DETER) system in each ward.
- In a move that is expected to improve access to adequate Covid-19 care in
Bengaluru, the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) declared
that triage centres would open across the city's 28 segments. Triaging
determines whether patients need home isolation, stabilisation centres, or
hospitalisation, as well as whether they require hospital beds with or without
oxygen and ventilators.
- Valliappa Foundation has spoken with the Government Health Department to
determine where the caseload is the highest and where these OC will be deployed.
They contributed to the construction of a 120-bed OC hospital in Bangalore.
- On Thursday, the BMTC, in collaboration with NGOs, will launch the ‘Oxygen on
Wheel' project at Victoria Hospital, providing relief to Covid patients waiting
for oxygen near hospitals. The public transportation company collaborated with a
number of NGOs, including Foundation India, to create a free oxygen
bank/parlour. It converted a non-AC bus into an oxygen bank with two
concentrators and four cylinders that can serve six people at once. The bus will
be parked at Victoria Hospital from 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. It will be
free for all who call 9731007191 on a first-come, first-served basis.