The Karnataka government has ordered private hospitals in state capital Bengaluru to reserve 50 per cent beds for the treatment of coronavirus patients from tomorrow as it struggles to slow the spread of the virus.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa appealed to hospital officials to respond with humanity during this emergency situation and directed them to provide 50 per cent beds to COVID patients amid an acute increase in the number of cases in Bengaluru, an official statement said.
Expressing concern over media reports on hospitals denying treatment to COVID-19 patients in Bengaluru and of patients dying due to lack of timely treatment, the chief minister stressed that private medical colleges and hospitals need to cooperate to fight the pandemic. Bengaluru should continue to lead the country as a role model in COVID management, the statement quoted Mr Yediyurappa as saying.
The medical colleges, at an earlier meeting, had agreed to provide around 4,500 beds, taking the total number of available beds to 6,500, including those in government hospitals, an official statement said. But their failure to make the promised beds available to COVID-19 patients has upset the chief minister, who has assured the hospitals of all support, including providing doctors and nurses whenever needed.
Nodal officers have already been appointed to monitor the availability of beds in these medical colleges, the statement added.
Speaking to NDTV, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok said, "Medical colleges have accepted the chief minister's proposal. Two have agreed to provide 100% beds for COVID patients. This is a crucial time and everybody will have to contribute. We will also initiate action against hospitals who defy the government order."
Bengaluru, which has a population of over 10 million, has witnessed a steady rise in coronavirus numbers and has reported over 29,000 cases.
On Friday, India crossed the one million-mark as it logged a record rise in the number of cases with over 34,000 new infections in 24 hours. India is the third worst-hit country by the pandemic in the world, behind US and Brazil.