Karnataka Health Minister assures of enough stocks of masks, protective equipment

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on March 17, 2020 Published on March 17, 2020

While assuring availability of adequate stocks of masks and personal protection equipment in Karnataka, the Health Minister, B Sriramulu, warned of strict action against those who hoard them.

Speaking to presspersons after reviewing the coronavirus outbreak in Mangaluru on Tuesday, he said the State has masks required for three months. On the availability of N95 masks in the State, he said around 3 lakh masks are there now.

Referring to personal protection equipment, he said the existing stock can help meet the requirements of around 1.5 lakh people in the State. Apart from this, 6,000 thermal scanners are also available, he said.

In Karnataka, 10 positive cases of coronavirus have been identified till now. Of them, one person died in Kalaburagi recently, he said.


To a query on the opening of more laboratories to test for Covid-19 cases, Sriramulu said the State government, under the leadership of the Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa, has discussed this issue. It has been decided to open laboratories in all district headquarters in the State. Since Mangaluru shares a border with Kerala, a laboratory with facilities to test the samples of Covid-19 cases will be opened in Mangaluru soon.

When he was told that a person from Dubai, who landed in Mangaluru airport and left for his native town Kasaragod in Kerala, has been tested positive for Covid-19, he said the district administrations of Dakshina Kannada is monitoring this case with the Kasaragod district administration.

Information is being collected in this matter, and all precautions are being taken to handle the issue. The close contacts of the Kasaragod Covid-19 patient have been home quarantined, he said.

Stating that Dakshina Kannada district has 24 border points with Kerala, he said some of the important roads are being monitored on a regular basis.

He said that 29,053 passengers have been screened for coronavirus at Mangaluru International Airport and 5,543 members at New Mangalore Port till now. Of the 46 samples of swabs sent for test from the district, 36 are negative. Results are awaited in others.

The district has 167 quarantine units at the primary health centre level and 120 beds for isolation cases. The District Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru will earmark a facility with 200 beds for handling Covid-19 cases, he said.

Meanwhile, Air India Express has withdrawn its flights from Mangaluru to Dammam and Doha till March 28, and to Bahrain and Kuwait till March 31 due to Covid-19 notification issued for suspension of travel to these destinations.

Published on March 17, 2020
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