Karnataka, with 39,510 cases in the last 24 hours, has moved Maharashtra to second place in both new cases and deaths for the first time since the second wave began in India in mid-February. The influx has put a burden on health workers, hospital services, and oxygen supplies. The Covid-19 death toll in Karnataka soared to 19,852 on Tuesday, with the Department of Health and Family Welfare linking 480 more deaths in the last few days to the pandemic.

Out of the 39,510 cases, Bengaluru Urban alone had 15,879 new cases. The capital city has the most deaths (259), out of the state’s 30 districts. So far, the city has reported 9,83,519 cases and 8,690 deaths. There are currently 3,62,696 active cases in the region.

With hospital beds still scarce, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said doctors should ask patients who are improving to go home to free up valuable hospital beds. In an effort to strengthen affairs in the city with the most active cases, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is beginning to decentralise Covid administration to the ward level.

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Lack of oxygen has become a problem in many hospitals across the state. On Tuesday morning, an Oxygen Express carrying 120 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen arrived in Whitefield, a suburb of Bengaluru, marking the state’s first such delivery.

Additionally, Ola announced earlier this week that it will be giving away free oxygen concentrators in partnership with GiveIndia. With an initial range of 500 oxygen concentrators, the service will begin rolling out in Bengaluru from this week. In the coming weeks, Ola and GiveIndia will roll out up to 10,000 concentrators across the nation.

Customers will be able to order an oxygen concentrator by logging into the Ola app and giving a few basic details. Ola will pick up the concentrator and deliver it to the customer’s doorstep after the request has been validated. After the patient has recovered, Ola will return the device to GiveIndia.