Plans afoot to instal Oxygen Plant in Temple Town
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Plans afoot to instal Oxygen Plant in Temple Town

June 12, 2021

The Temple Town of Karnataka, Nanjangud is known as ‘Dakshina Kashi’, thanks to the famous Sri Srikanteshwaraswamy Temple. During first wave of Covid, this town had reported the highest number of Corona positive cases due to infection spread from the employees of a pharma company. Now, this taluk is witnessing quite a number of positive cases and deaths. MLA B. Harshavardhan talks to SOM on Covid management.

SOM: How has been the Covid management in your Constituency?

Harshavardhan: It has been good. Officers, volunteers, Anganwadi and ASHA workers are working day and night to make Nanjangud free from Corona.

SOM: What about the working style of Corona Warriors?

Harshavardhan: Anganwadi and ASHA workers are doing house-to-house survey. Frontline workers are doing good job. Rural population is unresponsive to questions on cough or fever. Without their co-operation it is not possible to defeat Corona. During a meeting of Mysuru District MLAs with the Chief Minister 15 days ago, I complained about salary not paid to ASHA and Anganwadi workers for last three months. The salary was released in three days. I had also suggested the Government to provide an incentive of Rs. 5 for each patient that the ASHA and Anganwadi workers bring to hospital or COVID Care Centre (CCC) for treatment.

SOM: Any special arrangements for COVID treatment?

Harshavardhan: During first wave last year, I fought with a local pharmaceutical company which had reported more positive cases and got 50,000 food kits. While 5,000 kits were given to Mysuru, the rest were distributed among my Constituency people. But, in second wave, patients were not getting beds or oxygen. Tahsildar was asked to get oxygen cylinders from industries. To make oxygen available all the time, I have appealed to industries to help setting up an Oxygen Plant instead of giving food kits. Search is on for land for the proposed Plant.

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SOM: How is Task Force functioning?

Harshavardhan: At Gram Panchayat level, Task Force is managed well by GP President, Members and PDO. At hobli level, I am holding discussions on effectively checking the spread of Corona. Arrangements are made for vaccinating people, shifting infected to COVID Care Centres and arrangements are also in place to shift critical patients to Mysuru Hospitals in ambulance, if need arises.

SOM: What arrangements are made for people with other ailments? 

Harshavardhan: Doctors are available to attend only patients with medical emergency. But, ventilators are not available. So, critical patients are sent to Mysuru.

SOM: Are officers supportive?

Harshavardhan: Town Municipal Council (TMC) President, Commissioner, Tahsildar, Taluk Executive Officer (EO), Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) and Police Inspectors are extending full co-operation. This has helped in reducing infection and death rate.

SOM: What is your role in Corona control?

Harshavardhan: My responsibility has increased as MLA. I am staying in my Constituency on all six days and visiting every Covid Care Centre. I am having food there. A sophisticated ambulance worth Rs. 65 lakh has been handed over to Taluk Administration. I am in favour of continuing lockdown but with some relaxation as its complete withdrawal may spike positive cases again.

SOM: What about District Administration’s co-operation with Taluk Administration?

Harshavardhan: Earlier, it was missing. I had differences of opinion with DC Rohini Sindhuri. At that time, I had got oxygen cylinders from industries. The DC had asked me to arrange treatment for patients in Nanjangud without sending them to Mysuru. But, we didn’t have specialised doctors. Connection to War Room was not available. This problem was not there when Abhiram G. Sankar was the DC. I am expecting reforms from the new DC, Dr. Bagadi Gautham.

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SOM: How are you managing beds, ICU?

Harshavardhan: People with symptoms must go to hospitals to get tested and take treatment. Otherwise they will face shortage of bed, ICU beds and ventilators. We have only two oxygenated beds, which are reserved for Corona Warriors. So, others are sent to either Mysuru or Kadakola CCC.

SOM: What preventive steps are taken to check third wave?

Harshavardhan: It is possible to save children from being affected by third wave provided the Union Government vaccinate all children before December.

SOM: Is death rate under control in your Constituency?

Harshavardhan: It is slowly declining but positive cases are still high. So far, 28 people have died of Corona and each family has been given a compensation of Rs. 10,000 each from my side.

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