BENGALURU: The BU number -- Bengaluru Urban code for Covid-positive patients -- which help get a hospital bed under the government quota in Bengaluru, are not being generated, causing anxiety and concern as patients cannot gain admission. All expenses of such a patient are picked up by the government. There have been hundreds of complaints about BU numbers not being generated.
A senior bureaucrat, V Ponnuraj, head of the State Covid War Room, said, “BU numbers are not getting generated because test results for these patients are not updated on the ICMR portal by labs, from where the State War Room fetches data to generate BU numbers for each person.’’ He said the reason for this could be because swab collectors of private labs do not follow protocol and don’t submit details in the government software.
BU numbers cannot be generated for such cases, he added. To remedy this, there should be adequate awareness among citizens to insist on the SRF ID (Specimen Referral Form), which gets generated if swab collectors and private labs follow protocol. Once the SRF ID is generated, the case can always be traced. He said in many cases, the SRF ID is generated but labs do not enter the test resul t be caus e of heavy workload. The officer said that as a solution, data entry operators could be hired to speed up data entry. This step is being taken by the BBMP Commissioner for government labs.
For private labs, automation is being attempted by NIC, Karnataka, and if this succeeds, the data entry step will be reduced, and result updation on the ICMR portal can be speeded up. This can be used for government labs too. Ponnuraj said action can be taken against labs for delaying the data entry and not updating results on the ICMR portal, and had been initiated by the BBMP against five labs. The labs did not comply with protocol or heed advisories issued so far.