As India grapples with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare system across the country is under immense pressure with hospitals reporting a shortage of beds. In view of the shortages of beds amid the surge in infections, the Karnataka government had set up war rooms in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) zones to allot hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in Bengaluru.
Declaring its decision to bear the cost of treatment for those infected, the state government had set up a war room in BBMP zones. Additionally, 50 per cent of beds in private hospitals were reserved by the government for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
According to the guidelines, if a patient tests positive for Covid-19 and needs a hospital bed, they can call the war room and give the BU number. The war room would then allot a hospital bed without any delay.
ALSO READ: 24 patients, including Covid positive, die at Karnataka hospital due to oxygen shortage; govt denies
However, since the last 15 days, anyone who called BBMP for beds was told that there were no beds available, including oxygen and ICU beds.
After hearing about the bed booking scam involving BBMP officials, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and other BJP MLAs rushed to south BBMP war room to take stock of the situation. It was found that BBMP officials, in nexus with outside agents, were collecting bribes to allot beds reserved under government quota for Covid-19 patients.
The MPs found that no hospital beds were available anywhere in the city as BBMP officials were booking beds under the name of asymptomatic patients who were in home isolation.
Once the bed is booked, it gets blocked for 12 hours and if the patient is not admitted to the hospital by then, the beds automatically get unblocked. In the span of 12 hours, the officials would find a patient who is willing to pay for the hospital bed and once it is unblocked, would re-allot it to the same patient.
In one instance, 12 beds were booked in different hospitals at different times under one asymptomatic patient’s name. The current rate for a regular bed is around Rs 40,000 and goes up for an ICU bed.
Addressing the issues of irregularities and anomalies in BBMP bed booking for covid patients in Bengaluru, MP Tejasvi Surya said, « I’m meeting the chief minister and whoever is involved should be behind bars. This is nothing less than murder. Every day I get a hundred calls asking for beds. Where are the beds? And this is what is happening. »
IMPORTANT Addressing issues of irregularities and anomalies in BBMP bed booking for covid patients in Bengaluru along with Bommanahalli MLA Shri. Satish Reddy, Basavanagudi MLA Shri. Ravi Subramanya and Chickpet MLA Shri. Uday Garudachar. https://t.co/mzjjiQq7AP
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa chaired a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss Covid-19 management in the state, and tackle issues of shortages in medical supplies and infrastructure, including medical oxygen, Remdesivir, beds and ventilators.
Key decisions were taken in the meeting and ministers were put in charge to tackle specific issues. These include:
Karnataka on Tuesday reported 44,631 fresh cases of Covid-19, with Bengaluru (urban) recording 20,870 cases. The state registered 292 fatalities. The positivity rate in the state now stands at 29.03 per cent.
ALSO READ: Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra showing signs of plateauing in daily Covid-19 cases: Health ministryWATCH: 24 patients die at Karnataka hospital due to lack of oxygen, govt denies
Just before 2nd Covid wave hit India, ICU beds decreased by 46%, oxygen ones by 36%
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