Delay in ‘BU code’ generation hits patients hard

While cases of patients scouting for hospital beds have increased in the last three days, what is causing more hardship is the inordinate delay by the BBMP in generating Bengaluru Urban (BU) code for patients.

Hospitals have been refusing admissions even to patients with severe symptoms without a BU number. Due to this, patients are losing out on precious time. For many of them, the ordeal begins from the time they get swabbed. While test reports take at least three-four days to come, it takes even longer for a BU code and this “waiting period” has become a nightmare.

Volunteers from the Emergency Response Team (ERT), a voluntary group, said they have come across several cases wherein hospitals are refusing patients because they do not have a BU code.

Issue at war room

BBMP COVID-19 War Room, which is handling the allotment of hospitals to patients, is delaying generating the BU code. After a patient tests positive, a Patient Code (P Code) is generated first based on the positive report uploaded on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal. This is followed by a software-generated BU code in the BBMP war room, which has been delayed.

Several patients, who have ILI and SARI symptoms and are awaiting COVID-19 report are the worst hit. While they cannot get admission in COVID-19 wards without a positive report, most of the SARI/ ILI beds in dedicated hospitals such as Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and K.C. General are full. And, while waiting at home without admission when their COVID-19 report comes positive, they are forced to further wait for the BU code.

Aimen Muiz, a volunteer with ERT, said the group was flooded with requests for beds on Wednesday. “In most of the cases, BU numbers were not generated. Hospitals that earlier accepted bed allotment based on Specimen Referral Form (SRF) identity numbers are refusing now without a BU number,” she said. Ameen e Mudassar, another volunteer from ERT, said the group had attended to 41 requests on Wednesday, which is the highest on a single day since March.

There have been allegations that generation of the BU code is deliberately held up because of the increasing caseload. “With numbers surging day by day, there are many waiting for admission in hospitals. If the BU code generation of the new cases is delayed a little, the ones who have a code and need admission can be cleared first,” sources said.

Technical hitch

However, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, who admitted the delay in BU code generation, attributed it to technical glitches on the ICMR portal. “Because of technical issues, the flow of data from ICMR portal to BBMP War Room portal has been hit. This has been sorted out but as the caseload is increasing, there is a huge backlog of cases waiting for a BU code. Our staff are generating the code manually now and the issue should be resolved by Thursday,” he said.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:33:34 AM |

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