Many private hospitals in Bengaluru have begun using lodges to treat asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
According to PC Rao, President of the Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels Association, as many as 1,000 hotels/lodges in the city have been taken over by private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. "This includes major hospitals like Manipal Hospital, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Sparsh Hospital, Aster Hospital, Suguna Nursing Home, Columbia, PeopleTree Hospital among others," says PC Rao.
The patients admitted in lodges will pay the hospital for the treatment and will not pay the lodges. "The hospitals have a tie-up with the hotel and will pay the lodges or hotels. The lodge or hotel's responsibility is just to give the rooms and food which is a part of our work. We have no connection with the treatment and the payment by the patient is paid to the hospital," PC Rao added.
Aster Hospital has taken over a lodge in the city and is charging Rs 45,000 for 5 nights and increased rates for packages of 7 and 10 nights. In their advertisement, the hospital said it was charging the patients for room rent, meals and visits by doctors and nurses.
PeopleTree Hospital is offering a ten-day package at a cost of Rs 80,000. In both hospitals, pharmacy items, laboratory and radiology tests, charges for video consultations with specialist doctors are excluded from this.
Sparsh Hospital is treating patients in a lodge on Infantry Road in the city. "The patients are monitored by the hospital staff and the guidelines laid down by the government will be followed. If any patient is found to be symptomatic, they will be shifted to a hospital immediately. An ambulance service will be readily available for this." Dr Sharan S Patil, the chairman of Sparsh Hospital said.
The guidelines laid down by the state government says that, "The hotel staff like cooks, back office, admins, etc. shall not come in contact with COVID positive persons.The food delivery personnel and others shall serve Covid positive persons in the rooms under supervision and care. Medical and health staff shall monitor health condition of covid positive persons thrice daily and shall be available round the clock i.e 24x7"
The private hospitals are tasked with reporting to the District Surveillance officer (DSO) about the number of persons admitted, discharged, referred and their health status.
Bengaluru is currently grappling with 15,599 active COVID-19 cases after the city reported a sharp spike in cases starting from the end of June.