Belagavi deputy commissioner called for the creation of a public advisory committee made up of senior officials to implement various measures

Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol, who has just been appointed minister responsible for Belagavi district, held a virtual meeting with officers in Belagavi on Tuesday. He asked the officers to ensure that hospitals in the district do not suffer from oxygen shortages.

He spoke via an online link with a few select officers in attendance. He inquired about what measures they had in place to tackle the expected shortage.

He tasked Deputy Commissioner K. Harish Kumar to ensure that the work of officers is transparent and that information on bed availability for patients is easily accessible on a website. It should be regularly updated, he said.

A public advisory committee composed of senior officials should be formed at the district and taluk level to implement various measures in a transparent manner.

Mr Karjol said the government expects officers to work around the clock and ensure that patients or hospitals do not suffer from a shortage of oxygen or drugs such as Remdesivir.

Redressing public grievances should be a priority for all officers. Officers need to be sensitive to people’s issues and work in coordination with those in other departments and not pass the buck to each other saying they are not responsible. There is no shortage of funds for the management of COVID, he said and asked officers to use the funds available from the deputy commissioner’s office. He promised to release additional funds, if necessary.

Mr. Harish Kumar said the district has about 4,000 beds available in public and private hospitals. They include 1,909 oxygen beds, 179 intensive care beds and 137 intensive care beds and ventilators. They are classified as 77 high flow oxygen beds and 543 high flow nasal oxygen beds. At least 1000 beds can be supplied with oxygen 24 hours a day.

Mr. Karjol said the district has reached almost 40% of immunization targets and more than 32,000 doses of vaccine will soon be delivered to the district.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Y. Yogeshwar said Remdesivir was supplied to 47 hospitals based on the number of patients in the district. He said there was no shortage of oxygen and Remdesivir in the district at the moment.

Each village will have a COVID task force, made up of gram panchayat members and officers. They will raise awareness about COVID-19 and work with the population to avoid and reduce modes of transmission.

Gram Panchayat officers must keep track of all migrant workers returning home. Anyone looking for work should be employed under the MGNREGA scheme.

Officers from villages and towns should monitor the weekly baskets and daily vegetable markets, to ensure that crowds do not form anywhere.

In cities, urban local authorities authorize or organize carts for door-to-door sales.

Police and other agencies will initiate and maintain strict vigilance to ensure that anti-social elements do not spread rumors on social media about COVID-19 or related issues.

Police, health and drug control officers should ensure that there is no attempt to create an artificial shortage of injectable remdesivir. The state government allocates doses of this drug based on demand and need. The black marketing of the drug must be stopped.

The deputy commissioner is expected to personally monitor the establishment of COVID care centers in all countries and submit a report to the state government.

It will also identify government hospitals, residential schools, hospital annex buildings that can be converted into COVID care centers.

At all times, the general public should have information on the number of beds, oxygen and the availability of drugs. Agents should have data ready on immunization, population coverage, scarcity and availability. COVID duty will be mandatory for officers from all necessary departments.