National

Karnataka to utilise DMF fund to buy oxygen tankers, concentrators

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 15, 2021

Murugesh R Nirani, Minister for Mines and Geology   -  The Hindu

The decision was taken amid a growing number of Covid-19 cases in several districts

Karnataka’s Mines and Geology department plans to utilise the funds collected under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund to buy oxygen tankers, oxygen concentrators, pulse-oximeters and other emergency medical needs.

A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting held on Saturday presided by Minister for Mines and Geology Murugesh Nirani with the senior officials — secretary-Mines Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Mines & Geology department director P R Ravindra

The meeting comes amid a growing number of Covid-19 cases in several districts even as Bengaluru saw marginal decline in cases. The increasing number of cases in the districts and particularly in rural areas is a cause of concern for the state government.

Taking all possible measures to manage the current health crisis, Nirani has now allowed the authorities to use the DMF funds to procure oxygen tankers and other medical equipment needed urgently to treat the Covid-19 patients.

Oxygen tankers

The department would procure 10 cryogenic oxygen tankers. About two tankers are to be provided to each of the four revenue divisions in the state. The Regional Commissioners will be given the powers to manage and monitor the movements of these oxygen tankers in their jurisdictional areas.

The meeting also decided to set up oxygen generation plants at 10 district hospitals to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to patients. Two each in four revenue divisions and two hospitals will be chosen in the coastal region.

A committee in the Mines and Geology department in consultation with the health department is to identify the hospitals to set up oxygen generation plants. The department will also procure 1,000 oxygen concentrators and distribute them to all the districts.

In an effort to help the patients in rural areas who lack modern health facilities, it has been decided to procure a large number of pulse-oximeters so that the patients can regularly check oxygen saturation level.

The pulse-oximeters will be given to health committees at gram panchayat level.

Providing pulse-oximeters at gram panchayat level is expected to help the villages for timely medical care in case of dip in oxygen saturation level.

In yet another key decision, the meeting decided to set up a nursing college at Hatti Gold Mines campsite hospital. This will help address shortage and provide placements to nurses and paramedics at hospitals in Raichur district. Apart from this, an exclusive oxygen generator plant will be installed at this hospital.

Published on May 15, 2021

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