Bengaluru, April 16 : Grappling with the pandemic's second wave, Karnataka has floated a tender to buy 84,000 units of remdesivir to treat Covid patients, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Friday.

"We have floated a tender to buy 84,000 units of remdesivir to ensure no shortage of the drug," he told reporters here after a review meeting with health officials.

Asserting that the state government was better prepared to fight the infection, the minister said tenders have also been floated to set up oxygen plants in all the 31 districts.

"As 95 per cent of the infected have mild symptoms, only 5 per cent of patients with serious symptoms or comorbidities need to be admitted in hospitals for critical care," said Sudhakar, a doctor by profession.

Hinting at more stringent measures to contain the virus spread, the minister said fresh guidelines would be issued after an all-party meeting on Sunday and with the technical advisory committee of experts on April 20.

"Additional steps will be decided at the all-party meeting on April 18 to contain the second wave of the pandemic, which seems to be peaking in the state, as evident from the spike in new cases daily over the last 2 weeks," he said.

With Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa testing Covid positive and in a private hospital in the city for treatment, the all-party meeting is likely to be chaired by senior most Deputy Chief Minister Govid Karjol or Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan, who is also a doctor by profession.

According to the state health bulletin, a record 14,859 new cases were registered on Thursday, taking the state's Covid tally to 11,24,509, including 1,07,315 active cases.

Bengaluru reported 9,917 fresh cases, taking its Covid tally to 5,22,438, including 79,616 active cases.

With 78 patients, including 57 in Bengaluru succumbing to the virus during the day, the state's death toll rose to 13,190 and the city's toll to 5,020 since the pandemic broke out last year.

To prevent shortage of beds, the state Health Department has reserved 1,000 beds in state-run medical colleges and hospitals and 5,000 beds in private hospitals for treating only Covid patients.

"We have also urged the Centre to allocate 5,000 oxygen cylinders for patients in ICUs," added Sudhakar.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has stationed one ambulance in each of the 198 civic wards to rush serious Covid patients to the nearest hospital.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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