Indian Air Force will set up a 100 bedded COVID-19 treatment facility at Air Force Station Jalahalli in the northern limits of Bengaluru city. According to an official statement, the facility with the first 20 beds will be operational on May 6 with oxygen concentrators only. Once oxygen availability is ensured by the state government, the remaining 80 beds are expected to be operational by May 20. Of the total 100 beds, there will be 10 ICU beds and 40 beds with piped oxygen. The remaining 50 beds will have oxygen concentrators.
āThe facility will be manned by specialists, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff provided by the Command Hospital Air Force, Bengaluru. Admission to the facility will be coordinated by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Govt of Karnataka through a nodal officer,ā the statement further said.
āThe Government of Karnataka has assured necessary support for pharmacy, oxygen and security,ā it added.
Bengaluru has been facing shortage of ICU and ventilator beds and oxygen supply, and social media has been inundated with SOS messages seeking ICU beds for critical COVID-19 patients. Almost all hospitals, private and government, have been functioning at almost full or 90% capacity.
In view of the alarming situation in Bengaluru, the Karnataka High Court had asked the state and BBMP to approach the armed forces for help. On April 27, the court was told that the Command Hospital in Bengaluru did not have any empty beds to cater to the general public as it was already filled.
Since May 3, at least three hospitals have sent out distress calls over the lack of oxygen supply, and on May 4, two patients died due to interruption in oxygen supply. While some oxygen cylinders were rushed to the hospitals, hospital authorities this may be not enough and a proper continuous supply must be established to keep up with the increasing demand.
Karnataka on Monday reported 44,438 COVID-19 cases and 239 related deaths, taking the total caseload and fatalities to 16.46 lakh and 16,250 respectively, the health department said. Bengaluru Urban alone accounted for 22,112 infections.
The day also saw 20,901 patients getting discharged. Cumulatively, 16,46,303 positive cases have been confirmed in Karnataka, which includes 16,250 deaths and 11,85,299 discharges, a health department bulletin said. Active cases stood at 4,44,734.
With PTI inputs