With coronavirus cases in Bengaluru projected to increase from the current 60,998 cases on Monday to 1.37 lakh by the first week of September as per some estimates, and hospital bed requirement to over 17,000 from the availability of around 9,000, the government is scrambling to increase capacity.
Across 19 government hospitals in Bengaluru, there are only 152 ICU beds, of which 99 are ventilator beds. Only nine ICU beds, six with ventilator, were vacant as of Monday evening, according to a centralised hospital bed database for the city.
With 60,998 cases Monday, Bengaluru has seen 1,104 deaths.
As part of efforts to expand government capacity, the State-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, which currently has 165 beds and 35 ICU beds reserved for Covid treatment, has taken over the under-utilised Broadway Hospital of the city corporation. Along with the 550-bed Victoria Hospital and 104-bed Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, Bowring is the main Covid hospital in Bengaluru in the government sector at present.
Using over Rs 10 crore provided by the Infosys Foundation, Broadway has been converted into a 170-general bed and 48-ICU bed Covid-19 facility.
“When Broadway Hospital begins functioning, we will have over 500 beds… We will be in a position to meet the increase in cases we are expecting,” Dr Manoj Kumar, the in-charge director of Bowring Hospital, said.
The bulk of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital’s new ventilators have been provided by the state government from a consignment of 640 ventilators obtained under the Centre’s PM Cares scheme.
Apart from expanding Bowring’s capacity, a 30-bed ICU facility is being created at Epidemic Diseases Hospital, which currently has only 40 general beds, and a 20-bed ICU at C V Raman General Hospital, which has 150 general beds.