In the wake of a major rise in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, and with many women due for delivery struggling to find a hospital bed in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike said it will expand exclusive facilities for symptomatic and corona-positive patients who are pregnant.
At present only a 24-bed BBMP Maternity Clinic in Wilson Garden is running for pregnant COVID-19 patients and patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Other than this, the state government-run Vani Vilas Hospital within the Victoria Hospital premises, and the hospitalâ€™s Trauma Care Centre, were seeing these patients. However, Victoria Hospital is catering to all COVID-19 patients, and not just pregnant women.
With the continued increase in cases, these facilities are saturated and many economically disadvantaged families are forced to spend exorbitant amounts even for normal deliveries at private facilities.
â€śWe have asked for manpower from the state government due to the increase in cases we are getting every day. At present, Wilson Garden is the only designated COVID-19 maternity facility. This is a 24-bed facility. Until very recently, we had been referring coronavirus positive pregnant women to Victoria Hospital but they are also running out of beds. For that reason we have asked state Health and Family Welfare Commissioner to give us manpower so that we can start a similar facility in Austin Town Maternity Home, and Palace Guttahalli Maternity Home,â€ť Dr Niramla Buggi, Chief Health Officer, BBMP (Clinical) told TNM.
She said the Austin Town facility will have 24 beds while the Palace Guttahalli one will have 12 beds.
She further said with the rapid antigen tests available it has been easier to detect patients with the infection while earlier many patients had to deliver their child without being tested or with their test results due.
â€śThere have been times when we came to know about their positivity post-delivery. Till date, there have been at least 25 such cases. So in order to minimise such complications we want to have designated COVID-19 maternity clinics so that there is a minimum chance of our doctors and staff getting infected,â€ť she added.
TNM had reported on July 5 about a pregnant woman who was due to deliver in a few hoursâ€™ time, and was allegedly thrown out of a private facility as she turned out to be corona positive. Her familyâ€™s efforts to get a bed in a government facility also failed and she eventually delivered at another private facility which came at an expense of close to Rs 1 lakh.