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Covid-19 wrap: Karnataka reports 36,556 new infections, 161 deaths over weekend

Bengaluru continued to be the worst-hit among all 30 districts as a total of 24,197 cases were reported during the weekend. As many as 103 more people succumbed to the same on Saturday and Sunday.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 19, 2021 8:18:27 am
Covid-19 Karnataka reports 36,556 new infections, 161 deaths over weekendPolice stand guard at BMTC bus stand, as coronavirus cases surge in Bengaluru, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Karnataka reports 36,556 new infections, 161 deaths over weekend

Karnataka reported 36,556 new Covid-19 cases over the weekend, as the total tally rose to over 11.61 lakh since March 8 last year. While 17,489 and 19,067 new infections were reported on Saturday and Sunday respectively, the death toll rose by 80 and 81 in the last two days.

Bengaluru continued to be the worst-hit among all 30 districts as a total of 24,197 cases were reported during the weekend. As many as 103 more people succumbed to the same on Saturday and Sunday.

Other districts that reported most cases during the weekend were Mysuru (1588), Kalaburagi (1231), Bidar (828), and Tumakuru (1001). Meanwhile, the test positivity rate rose to 13.09 per cent on Sunday. A total of 8634 people recovered from the infection over the weekend from across the state as well.

However, the number of patients admitted to Intensive Care Units in designated hospitals rose to 620. Of these, 134 were in Bengaluru Urban, 109 in Kalaburagi, 44 in Kolar, 42 in Tumakuru, and 40 others were in hospitals situated in the Mysuru district.

‘CM’s health parameters stable, recovering well’

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who was admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru after getting reinfected with Covid-19 on Friday, is fast recovering with his vital health parameters continuing to be stable, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office confirmed on Sunday.

“He has been spending time reading his favourite books and passing on instructions to officials while monitoring the developments related to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic,” a CMO statement mentioned.

Govt hinted at increasing covid beds

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Sunday hinted that the government might increase the number of beds for Covid patients in private hospitals.

“Based on the surge we might ask for more. Please be prepared for that,” he said.

At present, 50% of the beds in private hospitals are reserved for Covid patients.

Moreover, private hospitals in Bengaluru have been directed to collaborate with hotels nearby to ensure “step-down hospitals” are established. “Patients who do not require ICU admission, oxygen beds or ventilators, and those with mild or moderate symptoms can be asked to stay there,” Sudhakar said during a visit to Sakra World Hospital in Marathahalli.

Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association (BBHA) confirmed that step-down hospitals have begun operations at six hotels in the city. “Another seven hotels have been kept ready. They are now holding talks with respective hospitals that have been identified for collaborations,” BBHA president P C Rao said.

Further, Sudhakar asked the hospital authorities if any patient referred by BBMP had been refused admission on financial grounds.

“Lots of people with mild and moderate symptoms who do not require admission want to get themselves admitted. They can either stay at CCCs or be in home isolation under supervision of doctors. If such patients are admitted, more beds are filled up. This in turn means patients who need extra care are being denied admission,” he said.

The minister said that hospitals should provide admission to only patients whose oxygen saturation levels drops below 90. “Even after the BBMP allotment, in case the doctor finds that any patient can be in home isolation to improve his/her health condition, you (private hospitals) can take a call,” he said.

At the same time, Sudhakar requested the officials to increase the number of ICU beds earmarked for Covid-19 treatment, citing the rising number of infections in the state, and especially in Bengaluru. “…So you please tell all your non-Covid patients to wait if they can. Let them come only in case of an emergency,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sudhakar denied allegations that former CM H D Kumaraswamy was denied admission at another private hospital in the city after he tested positive on Saturday. “I had called up Manipal Hospitals to enquire about the matter. I learnt that there was no such problem,” he said.

Further, in a tweet in Kannada, Kumaraswamy thanked Sudhakar and Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research director Dr C N Manjunath for helping him. He added that he later got admitted to a private hospital at Bannerghatta Road.

Take necessary steps to contain second wave, Governor directs top bureaucrats

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala Sunday held an emergency meeting with top bureaucrats of the state to discuss plans to contain the second wave of the pandemic.

According to sources at Karnataka Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, Vala directed the top officers to take all necessary steps to bring the situation under control. “These steps included ensuring enough oxygen supply, beds and medicines for patients suffering from Covid-19,” an official said.

Chief Secretary P Ravikumar, Additional Chief Secretary to CM E V Ramana Reddy, and Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Jawaid Akhtar took part in the meeting.

Meanwhile, the total Covid-19 tally across the state in April alone rose to over 1.45 lakh, with 17,489 new infections being reported on Saturday. The death toll further rose to 703 this month as 80 more people succumbed to the infection.

Bengaluru has recorded nearly 1 lakh new infections and 444 fatalities since April. The capital city continues to be the worst-hit in the state.

Overall bed occupancy nears 75% as per govt data

As many as 4508 beds out of the total 6153 earmarked for Covid-19 patients in government and private hospitals and medical colleges situated in Bengaluru (Urban and Rural) were occupied as on 7.30 pm on Sunday, official state government data indicated.

With these numbers, the occupancy rate was estimated to be at 73.27 per cent in total. However, finding an ICU bed with ventilator support turned out to be an uphill task for many as nearly 97 per cent of them across facilities were occupied. As much as 94.74 per cent of the total ICU beds and 83.76 per cent of the HDU (High Dependency Unit) beds continued to be occupied, as per the data.

Meanwhile, the two operational Covid Care Centres at Haj Bhavan and HAL in the city together had only 79 unoccupied beds. With a total of 578 beds, as many as 499 beds —343 at Haj Bhavan (total 400) and 156 at HAL (total 178) were occupied as per the data.

Minister Sudhakar claimed that the data provided “real-time information” about the status of hospital bed availability and occupancy in Bengaluru and that the spreadsheet updates every five minutes automatically.

However, a volunteer from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) set up by individuals and members of various NGOs and other organisations in the city, told Indianexpress.com that the same was running behind the actual scenario by at least five hours. “These systems need to be updated more frequently with accurate information as such delays would further contribute towards delays in arranging ambulances and in getting the patient admitted on time,” the volunteer said.

BBMP issues notice to 5 hospitals for failing to provide 50% beds for Covid treatment

Bengaluru’s local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Sunday issued show-cause notices to five private hospitals after officials allegedly found them to be not complying with government norms to earmark 50 per cent of their total beds for government-referred Covid-19 patients.

The hospitals, as identified by the BBMP, are Columbia Asia Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Vikram Hospital, and Aster CMI Hospital. “..it has been observed that your hospital has not complied with the directions of the government to notify and make available the mandated 50% of the beds for government-referred patients,” the notice read.

Further, BBMP directed the erring hospitals to comply with the provision of beds within 48 hours and report the same to the BBMP Commissioner. The notice also warned of action against the hospitals under section 15 of the KPME (Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act) including immediate suspension of registration, fine and imprisonment. “Action would also be taken under provisions of Disaster Management Act,” the notice mentioned.

BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and Special Commissioner (Health) Rajendra Cholan were seen leading BBMP teams for inspection and issuing notices to these private hospitals on Sunday.

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