The Karnataka government on Saturday established a bed allocation system for COVID-19 patients in Bengaluru. The announcement of the system comes after multiple reports of patients struggling to find hospital beds in the city.
Anyone who needs a bed should dial 108 for ambulance service and 1912 if admission is denied by a hospital. This applies to COVID-19 patients or patients with symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI)
"Persons with breathlessness may call the 108 services, which will ascertain if the person is COVID positive or a suspect, and arrange for an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance to a nearby treatment facility in consultation with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palikeâ€™s (BBMP) bed allocation team. If the person has not undergone a COVID-19 test, but has breathlessness, asthma or influenza-like illness (ILI), he/she will be shifted immediately to a COVID-19 hospital and tested compulsorily," stated a press release issued by the Karnataka government.
"If the patient is positive for coronavirus, he/she will be shifted from the isolation ward to the COVID-19 section of the hospital. If negative, he/she will be shifted to the non-COVID section and treated. If an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient with no underlying medical condition calls 108, it will be transferred to BBMPâ€™s bed allocation team for necessary transportation and bed allocation," added the release.
Additionally, the state government has also started the 24x7 1912 BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) call centre to address issues of hospitals denying treatment to people. The BBMP's bed allocation team will have real-time software that updates the availability of beds, and will be linked to 108 and 1912. The team will get the list of COVID-19 patients from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal in real-time and send paramedics to patientsâ€™ residences after contacting them.
This comes after a series of complaints from Bengaluru residents that hospitals were denying admissions to COVID-19 patients and other persons with breathlessness. A few private hospitals mentioned in the first list of COVID-19 hospitals in Karnataka on June 20 were not admitting COVID-19 patients and were unaware about their hospitals being listed.