People from Bengaluru now scouting for beds in other cities

They are looking at Hubballi and Mysuru where situation is still under control

Published - April 24, 2021 01:05 am IST - Bengaluru/Hubballi

The COVID-19 Control Room at the BBMP head office in Bengaluru.

The COVID-19 Control Room at the BBMP head office in Bengaluru.

Reeling under severe shortage of ICU beds, oxygen beds and ventilators, families of COVID-19 positive patients from Bengaluru are travelling to ensure their kin get proper medical care in the time of acute distress. Residents are now occupying a good chunk of these beds in faraway places like Hubballi and Mysuru where the situation is still under control.

What has caused anxiety in the Health Department is a possible acute shortage of facilities in these tier-2 cities that are also progressively reporting increasing number of COVID-19 patients. For example, Mysuru has a high COVID-19 positive ratio in respect to the population. If the beds are occupied by outsiders and a need arises for locals, the crisis may blow out of proportion, sources said.

When Health Minister K. Sudhakar visited Mysuru on Thursday, he was informed that nearly 10% of the ICU beds were taken by people from Bengaluru. “This is a huge number. People with connections and money are travelling far for beds. Mysuru has a case fatality rate of 4%, whereas the CFR for State is 0.7%. Since no law prevents residents of Bengaluru from getting admitted elsewhere, nothing can be done,” sources said.

One of the reasons for the high CFR rate in Mysuru is late arrival of patients in the hospital, sources said.

Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Hubballi, the premier medical institution and hospital in North Karnataka, has been receiving more patients from other cities, including Bengaluru.

KIMS Director Ramalingappa Antaratani confirmed the development and said that the hospital had been treating patients from outstations particularly those with friends and relatives in and around Hubballi-Dharwad. “In fact, during the first wave nearly 35% to 40% of the patients were outsiders. Of late we have been receiving patients from Bengaluru. Most of these are originally from here. We know they are not locals, but it is our responsibility to treat everyone,” he said.

In Dharwad, of the 17 hospitals where 50% of the beds had been earmarked, some hospitals reported patients from Bengaluru and surrounding areas.

In Davangere, though there have been reports of Bengaluru residents taking hospital beds, the district administration clarified that they have not seen any such development. “But we are anticipating such a development and are prepared for it. We have also sought clarification on accommodating such patients with endorsement from health officials from respective districts as it was done earlier,” Deputy Commissioner of Davangere Mahanthesh Bilagi told The Hindu .

One of the reasons for such long distance travel for treatment, government sources said was availability of infrastructure in tier-2 places. Sources pointed out that government hospitals in Bengaluru have about 151 ICU beds out of about 3,190 in Karnataka.

Similarly, Bengaluru has about 254 ICU with ventilator beds of the total 2,034 in the State. While Karnataka has about 18,503 oxygenated beds, Bengaluru is estimated to have about 2,900 beds only.

“More than 90% of government facilities in Bengaluru are already occupied. This is because, of the total cases in the State, 60% are from Bengaluru while the city has less than 20% of the total government capacity in health services. Beds are still available outside Bengaluru and cases are relatively low there.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.