BENGALURU: Bengaluru, with over 3 lakh active Covid cases, is being wracked by the second wave of infection and is facing an acute shortage of hospital beds. According to doctors, officials of Covid war room and experts, an immediate solution to the problem is to refer patients from the city to government hospitals in neighbouring districts, where the demand for ICU, oxygenated beds and ventilators is lesser.
They suggest that the government link the state Covid war room portal with that of districts and create a unified portal for people to know the availability of beds in other districts. If a bed is not available in Bengaluru, then the helplines (war room, 1912 and 108) can search for it in nearby districts, like Mandya, Kolar, Tumakuru or Ramanagara, and an ambulance will shift the patient through a green corridor immediately.
“Now, because of lack of beds, patients reach hospitals in a critical stage ... It is better if they are shifted to hospitals in a different district,” said a senior bureaucrat on Covid duty, on condition of anonymity.“There are many instances of families from Bengaluru taking their infected relatives to private hospitals in Udupi, Mangaluru or even Kerala in their own vehicles, adding to the risk of spreading the infection. Instead, government hospitals in nearby districts are of great help,” the bureaucrat added.
The bureaucrat, however, said that people do not trust government hospitals. “They fail to understand that treatment at government hospitals is not just free but also efficient,” the bureaucrat added. Since cases in other districts are lesser compared to Bengaluru, government hospitals there have enough oxygen, ICU beds and ventilators.