BENGALURU: The health and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioners on Saturday said resident welfare associations can charge for mini community-based Covid care centres put up within the premises of gated communities and apartments, but it is better if no costs are levied.
Explaining the new quarantine rules to be followed and the formation of community-based CCCs, the commissioners, B H Anil Kumar (BBMP) and Pankaj Kumar Pandey (health), told RWAs through video-conferencing on Saturday, “Government-based CCCs are free of cost and hotels and hospitals are levying charges which have been decided by the government.” Kumar said, “We do not recommend that charges be levied, but if RWAs want they can recover the costs, but only bare minimum. However, we hope it is free. We will not interfere and we will not take any money.”
They pointed out that all RWAs should follow the set guidelines and protocols listed by the government. The mini-CCCs should be treated as isolation centres of hospitals. Kumar also told RWAs that they have to tie up with private agencies approved by the BBMP to dispose of biomedical waste. He asserted that pourakarmikas should not be allowed to handle the waste.
Pandey felt that CCCs are part of a community service and should not be charged. He clarified that the presence of doctors and paramedical staff round-the-clock at these centres is not necessary. “It is better if an RWA has a tie-up with a doctor or a hospital. If it is not available, they must contact government doctors,” he added.
Pandey said that some hospitals have partnered with hotels for CCCs and they charge a fee. As per guidelines, five-star hotels can charge a maximum of Rs 12,000 per day (with taxes), three-star hotels Rs 10,000 and other budget hotels Rs 8,000. He asserted that no hospital can deny treatment and admission to any patient, Covid or non-Covid.
Hospitals must admit patients if they even complain of breathing problems. Citizens must dial 108, the free ambulance service, 1912 or 14410 for any assistance or complaints. Reacting to the suggestion of RWAs, Pandey said the government will talk to oxygen cylinder suppliers and firms to help facilitate supplies to mini-CCCs, if required.