COVID-19: Govt. directs private hospitals to reserve 50% of beds

Updated - April 13, 2021 01:11 am IST

Published - April 12, 2021 11:07 pm IST - Bengaluru

A BBMP health worker collecting swab samples for COVID-19 tests in Bengaluru on Monday.

A BBMP health worker collecting swab samples for COVID-19 tests in Bengaluru on Monday.

As the number of COVID-19 cases reported crossed the 10,000 mark on Sunday, the State government conducted a round of talks with the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) on Monday and asked them to reserve 50% of their beds for COVID-19 patients. The association agreed to this.

The government and the association came to an agreement for such allocation within a week, said K. Sudhakar, Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

Prasanna H.M., president of PHANA, said that in addition to the 50% beds under the government quota, there would be another 30% reserved for COVID-19 patients under the private quota. “We have told the government that they can take over the beds in a phased manner as and when the beds currently occupied are vacant,” he said.

Dr. Sudhakar also said that private hospitals have been urged to set up COVID-19 Care Centres in hotels so that people who have mild and moderate symptoms can be admitted in hotels if they wanted to do so. “We need to make judicious use of the hospital beds. Patients without symptoms and with mild symptoms will be isolated in hotels and care centres. Only patients with severe conditions will be treated in hospitals,” he said.

Remdesivir

Meanwhile, private hospitals have been asked to furnish the details of the quantity of Remdesivir they need. The State government has decided to supply it through the Karnataka State Drugs Logistics and Warehousing Society at government rates.

The Minister also took stock of oxygen and oxygen generators that would be needed in hospitals. “We want to ensure that there is no dearth of oxygen in hospitals. If needed, we will also speak to the Industries Department and divert industrial oxygen to hospitals,” he said.

Dr. Sudhakar, however, ruled out a lockdown because of the second wave of COVID-19 infections. “We are not a position to take such a harsh step. We want to educate people to take up COVID-19 prevention methods,” he said.

Committee for COVID-19 Care Centres

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials had a meeting with private hospitals and the hotel association on Monday to chalk out a plan to start private COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs).

A committee has been constituted comprising members of PHANA, Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association (BBHA), and BBMP officials. It is expected to submit a list of privately managed CCCs to the civic chief in two days’ time, sources said.

Meanwhile, the zonal officials have given a list of 26 different locations where CCCs could be set up, each with at least 50-bed capacity. BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) P. Rajendra Cholan said the feasibility of opening CCCs in these locations was being ascertained. “As per our contingency plan, we hope to have at least 2,000 to 2,500 beds in these CCCs. These facilities are primarily for those who do not have facilities for self-isolation,” he added.

Two hotels, according to P.C. Rao, president of BBHA, were ready to start CCC operations from Wednesday. Each private CCC will have a nurse and a doctor on duty, apart from ambulance and food arrangements, PPE kits for housekeeping staff, and separate arrangements to dispose of biomedical waste from the facility, a release from the BBMP said.

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