This Article is From Jul 28, 2020

Bengaluru Gets 10,000-Bed Care Centre For Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients

The hope is that this massive facility can ease the burden of the city's care facilities as Bengaluru sees a huge spike in the number of cases.

The centre will mainly have asymptomatic patients who do not need any special attention

Bengaluru:

On the busy Tumakuru Road, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, is the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre. Spread over 50 acres, it has been the venue for major commercial and political events. But with coronavirus halting big events, the centre has been re-purposed and is now the city's biggest COVID-19 care facility.

The centre will mainly have asymptomatic patients who do not need any special attention, says the Joint Commissioner of the city corporation BBMP.

"They require care and also quarantine. So, this facility is being provided by the government at no cost to the patient," Sarfaraz Khan told NDTV.

The hope is that this massive facility can ease the burden of the city's care facilities as Bengaluru sees a huge spike in the number of cases.

"Bengaluru already has nine centres in different places ranging from 200-500 beds and they're all full. This place will provide a lot of relief to patients who are asymptomatic. If hospitals have such patients - those patients can come here," Mr Khan said.

Five big meeting halls have been converted into wards with hundreds of beds inside each one. The biggest, Hall 5, has 1600 beds. It has two dining halls - each can seat over 300 people at a time.

"There is also good quality food," Mr Khan told NDTV. "The Director of Health has told us the kind of food that we are supposed to give and accordingly we are providing food," he adds.

A huge facility like this needs a big staff.

Mr Khan said, "More than 500 people are working here around the clock - doctors nurses, paramedical staff, marshalls, solid waste management people. Solid waste is also now considered medical waste because of the infection that it carries. So that has a different protocol. So, this is the first time such a thing the country, the world probably is facing," he says.

The 10,000 beds, however, will not be occupied all at once. "We are ready for about 5,000 patients. So this has about 6,500 bed capacity right now and 1,500 beds will be needed for staff."

Doctors and nurses are required to stay at the facility for 10 days at a stretch and then go into home quarantine for four days.

"Basically, the protocol we follow here is for 100 patients it will be one doctor, two nurses in three shifts, Mr Khan said. "Based on the number of patients we have here, so many doctors and nurses will be provided here."

Since the patients would be asymptomatic, the need for oxygen and emergency facilities is limited. In case the patients require further treatment, they will be taken to nearby Covid-19 hospitals.

The Centre has housed unexpected people as well. Like a group of coronavirus positive convicts who were accompanied by a number of guards. And another time by a large group of people from a single containment zone.

There are recreation rooms with carrom boards and televisions to help patients pass the time. "We have CCTVs, we have a public announcement system. We can talk to anybody from anywhere from the control room and address them and we also plan to have yoga for people who are staying here in the mornings so to keep them happy," Joint Commissioner Khan said.

Patients assigned here can reach the centre by ambulance or take their own transport.

"We are now open to anybody coming here, for example, somebody who has got COVID positive report with him and people between the age of 14-60 years. Up to 60 years we provide accommodation here. Doctors will do initial screening. There is a lot of unnecessary panic in the city. If you see all the COVID care centers, 98 to 99 per cent patients are going home happy. That's a good thing so I would like to reiterate here that people should go back happily that is whatever our honorable Chief Minister has told. Some of the patients (in other Covid-19 care centres) have said that we would like to stay for 3-4 days more," Mr Khan says.

Karnataka crossed one lakh coronavirus cases on Monday.