The Karnataka government has issued a notification to use stadiums and ashrams in Bengaluru as COVID Care Centres (CCC) to treat asymptomatic patients who test positive for the coronavirus.
The notification dated June 20 lists the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Koramangala Indoor Stadium and the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ashram in the city as centres where asymptomatic patients will be treated. Such centres will be identified across the state since 75% of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, states the notification.
"The Administrative Head of all these facilities are instructed to get in touch with the Commissioner, BBMP immediately for making necessary arrangements for receiving & managing patients. They shall provide their infrastructure, staffs, resources etc for appropriate management of COVID patients," the notification read.
Until now, COVID-19 patients in Bengaluru were treated at the government-run Victoria Hospital in the city, irrespective of severity of symptoms. Similarly, COVID-19 patients in other districts were treated at government-run hospitals designated by the district administration.
The notification comes at a time when Bengaluru recorded 232 COVID-19 cases in the last two days including 102 cases with no known contact or travel history. These patients reported in hospitals with symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-like illness (ILI)
As the cases increase, the state government has decided to follow the triaging protocol set by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). Patients who are asymptomatic will be treated at CCCs; patients who have mild to moderate symptoms will be managed at Dedicated Covid Health Centres (DCHCs); and patients who are seriously will be treated at Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCHs).
The state health department has also identified 16 government hospitals in and around Bengaluru where beds will be set aside to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
The DCHC hospitals identified include CV Raman General Hospital, KC General Hospital, Jayanagar General Hospital and ESI Hospital in Indiranagar among other facilities in and around the city.
While all 250 beds in CV Raman General Hospital will be reserved for COVID-19 patients, a part of the other hospitals will be allocated for COVID-19 patients.
In addition, as many as 518 private hospitals and medical colleges empanelled under the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust (SAST) have been allowed to treat COVID-19 patients. This includes 44 private hospitals in Bengaluru. The entire list is available at www.arogya.karnataka.gov.in and also on the Health Department's website.
The private hospitals can treat patients only if referred by public authorities such as BBMP Commissioner, Health department Director, District Health Officers and others.
The hospitals will be paid an appropriate package rate for Covid management, stated a health department official.
The state has not barred private hospitals from treating COVID-19 patients but they have to mandatorily report all positive cases. As per the health department, hospital care will be prioritised for symptomatic patients, elderly persons and patients with comorbidities.
Karnataka has reported 8697 COVID-19 cases with 3170 cases currently active in the state. The number of cases in Bengaluru crossed 1,000 on Saturday and is now 1076, of which 621 patients are currently hospitalised.