The Karnataka government Wednesday ordered all hospitals to display details of bed allocation at their registration counters to make it easier for patients or their bystanders to identify the availability of beds for Covid-19 treatment.
As per the order issued by Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, the display system should include specific details of different categories of beds as ‘Reserved’, ‘Occupied’, and ‘Available.’
#Karnataka: Hospitals should display bed allocation at registration counters. The bed allocation data must corroborate with BBMP’s central bed allocation system, orders govt. #COVID19 @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/AcHPXwKXbm
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) July 15, 2020
The order specified that the display system should give out details of isolation beds (general wards), ICU beds, ICU beds with ventilators, beds with high-flow oxygen (HDU), and beds with regular flow oxygen.
Earlier, even as Bengaluru’s local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed to have begun publishing real-time information on bed availability, several citizens and some leaders of the opposition parties had pointed out the same was faulty.
Among many was Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy who took to Twitter to point out the need for right and real-time information.
“Can we/patient find out where to find a bed/ ICU/ventilator online asap? Kindly let us know, sir? We are constantly getting contacted by patients/families & precious time is being wasted manually looking! One will faint if one looks at the hospital bills! Costing a lakh a day min,” she tweeted.
Whitefield Rising, a citizen collective stated that the website which hosts the information is “extremely slow” if it loads.
“The site needs to be able to scale up for thousands to access at the same time. Unfortunate that being the tech capital of India, we are unable to get these things right,” the collective stated.
In a bid to solve such issues, the government has further directed all hospitals established under Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) to corroborate with the data of the central bed allocation system run by the BBMP.
Enhance bed capacity to 1.5 lakhs in Karnataka: AAP
Citing the trend of an increase in symptomatic Covid-19 cases in Karnataka over the past two weeks, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Wednesday urged the BJP-run state government to increase the number of beds to 1.5 lakh during the ongoing lockdown period.
“If the government fails to arrange sufficient beds in the state by the mid-July or August, the state will witness a massive health crisis. With the number of symptomatic cases increasing over the past two weeks, private hospitals in Bengaluru are refusing to treat new cases. If the infection gets worse, what about other patients and infected people? Is the government planning to provide proper medical facilities including beds, ventilators etc?” a party statement questioned.
Further, AAP Karnataka’s State Media Convener Jagadish V Sadam added that the government should convert more big venues to Covid Care Centre like the one set up at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre.
“The Aam Aadmi Party has appealed to the government to begin similar Covid Care Centres in every district to provide beds and other medical facilities. This is a good solution to keep other patients away from Covid-19 patients,” he said.
Hospitals cannot refuse treatment to probable Covid-19 patients: BBMP Commissioner
Stating an official order by the Karnataka government, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar Tuesday said no hospital can deny treatment or admission to a probable Covid-19 patient.
“Hospitals cannot refuse to treat or admit suspected Covid patients. A test should be done & they should be kept in isolation till results arrive and then shifted to Covid or non-Covid section and treated accordingly,” he said.
This statement comes at a time when the state government and BBMP is facing widespread criticism for not issuing detailed guidelines to hospitals for admitting patients, and other issues like non-availability of hospital beds and ambulances in Bengaluru.
12,500 more tests daily by next 12 days: Medical Education Minister
In a bid to enhance its testing capacities, the Karnataka government has decided to establish Covid-19 testing labs in 25 private medical colleges across the state.
After a review meeting held with representatives of these institutions, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said that the labs would begin functioning within 12 days, with a cumulative 12,500 more tests expected to be done on a daily basis.
“The private medical colleges have assured me that the Labs will start functioning in 10-12 days. We are targetting a minimum 500 tests per day in each of these labs,” he said.
Karnataka tested a total of 23,674 samples on Tuesday. It can be noted that the state had enhanced the numbers soon after a team from the Union Health Ministry visited the state with an advice to ramp up Covid-19 testing.
As on July 14, Karnataka cumulatively reported 44,077 positive cases and 842 fatalities. Over 47 per cent of the total cases and 44 per cent of the total fatalities have been recorded in capital city Bengaluru alone.
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