Amid several grim reports of COVID-19 patients struggling to get admission to hospitals in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government has come up with a system for shifting of patients in and around the city and bed allocation to them.
The state government, in a circular, has said that as the coronavirus cases in Bengaluru are on a rise, ensuring that they are admitted and treated properly is of paramount importance. There should not be any unfortunate cases of denial of treatment, it added.
Recently, a man who later tested positive for COVID-19, died after going from hospital to hospital in search of a bed in Bengaluru.
The incident drew criticism from the opposition for the state government with former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy terming the incident as "shocking".
According to the new circular, the 24x7 helpline number 1912 will be answering calls related to denial of admission in the hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
The information will be then passed onto the relevant department officer who will call the Nodal officer appointed by the hospital for ensuring admission.
lf beds are not available, the team will ensure shifting of patients to other nearby facilities.
The Karnataka government has also roped in 108-Arogya Kavacha ambulance service, which normally deals with medical emergencies, to shift the virus patients across COVID-19 treatment facilities in Bengaluru.
The service will also answer distress calls relating to COVID and breathing difficulties and will also allocate ambulances.
Earlier on Friday, the body of a COVID-19 patient remained on a street outside his home for nearly two hours as his family kept waiting for an ambulance. The commissioner of Bengaluru civic body later visited the man's house to apologise to the family.
The aim is now to have COVID-19 patients being allocated beds under a centralised system where the Bengaluru civic body gets their test results from the ICMR portal on a real time basis. A vehicle would be sent to the residence with paramedics to ascertain the medical condition and shift the patient to the necessary treatment facility.
The bed allocation team of the civic body would have real time bed allocation and availability software with hotlines to 108 ambulance service & 1912 - grievance redressal service.
Karnataka on Saturday reported its biggest single day spike of 1,839 new COVID-19 cases and 42 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections in the state to 21,549 and the deaths to 335, the Health department said. Of these, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 1,172 cases in the last 24 hours.