10% beds in private hospitals to be reserved for COVID-19 patients

Average caseload goes up from 243 in February to 1,500 in March

In the light of rising COVID-19 cases in the city, the government has resumed reserving beds in private hospitals, starting with 10% set apart for government quota this week. This will be increased in phases depending on how the caseload evolves, said civic commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad in a video conference with private hospital authorities on Wednesday.

“At the peak of the pandemic last year, we had reserved 50% beds in private hospitals and as the caseload dropped, we gave away government quota of beds in private hospitals accommodating all patients in government hospitals only. But the numbers are increasing rapidly. From an average of 600 cases in December 2020, caseload dropped to an average of 333 in January, 243 in February but it has shot up to an average of over 1,500 cases in March. Roping in private hospitals is now inevitable,” Mr. Prasad said.

Mr. Prasad said no COVID-19 patient, especially those with respiratory issues, must be turned away by any hospital. “Hospitals need to admit such patients and inform the civic body later,” he said. He also directed all hospitals to display on notice boards at their entrance details, including bed availability.

Treatment protocol

Noted epidemiologist Dr. Giridhar Babu, member of State COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee, said the mistakes made during the first wave should not be repeated in the second wave, and there has to be a standardised treatment protocol as issued by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.

“During the first wave, we observed that a few hospitals were not administering Remdesivir, even when the patients needed it saying while the patients couldn’t afford it, the civic body was not supplying enough, which should not be repeated,” he said.

Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner, Health, BBMP said there was no shortage of Remdesivir and hospitals have to place an indent for the medicine with Karnataka Drug Logistics and Warehousing Corporation and the civic body will liaise with the corporation on behalf of the hospitals to ensure there is no shortage.

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