Karnataka HC asks Bengaluru civic body not to dismantle Covid facilities until suggested by expert panel

The direction was issued on Thursday after the high court was informed that BBMP was wrapping up operations at some of the care facilities in the wake of a dip in the number of admissions.

The Karnataka High Court has asked Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) not to dismantle the existing Covid care facilities in the city until the same is suggested by an expert panel.

According to a special division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar, facilities like Covid care centres and triage centres should not be dismantled till the expert group, set up by the state government to prepare for a possible third wave of the pandemic, submits its recommendations.

The direction was issued on Thursday after the HC was informed that BBMP was wrapping up operations at some of the care facilities in the wake of a dip in the number of admissions.

Meanwhile, BBMP counsel V Sreenidhi informed that the local body had inoculated 10.91 lakh people from 1,311 slums spread across eight zones. According to the statistics submitted by the counsel, this coverage is out of the total 30.68 lakh slum dwellers within BBMP limits. It was further noted that 1.77 lakh people identified as frontline workers and from priority groups have been vaccinated in the city so far.

At the same time, the civic body has also decided to release beds in private medical colleges and hospitals back to them by retaining only 20 per cent for Covid patients. The move came after a drop in cases was noticed over the last fortnight.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta explained that as many as 13,000 beds in private hospitals and medical colleges in the city were earmarked under the government quota. “We have decided to retain around 20 per cent of the general beds, and return the rest to them,” he added.

In April, the government had asked private hospitals and medical colleges to reserve 50% beds for Covid patients, similar to how it was done during the first wave.

Gupta added that the government and the civic body together would decide on High Dependency Unit, Intensive Care Unit, ICU-Ventilator beds in the coming days.

Even as the recovery rate in Bengaluru Urban is at 90.48 per cent, statistics issued by the Karnataka Covid-19 War Room indicate that the city reported 18,799 cases in the last week alone. The tally in the state capital has gone up to 15,215 with 939 more fatalities linked to the pandemic in the last seven days.

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