97.3% of COVID-19 beds at govt. hospitals in Bengaluru vacant

Some districts in Karnataka have been reporting zero test positivity rate

With a gradual decline in cases, 97.3% of beds allocated for COVID-19 in government hospitals in Bengaluru are lying vacant. With the State Government having stopped referring patients to private hospitals, they have started utilising beds earlier reserved for COVID-19 patients for other admissions.

As per data, only 49 of the total 1,849 COVID-19 beds were occupied as of Saturday (November 20). As many as 32 of the total 693 general beds and 11 of the 831 high-dependency units with oxygenated beds were occupied. Likewise, only five of the 120 ICU beds and just one of the 205 ICU beds with ventilators were occupied.

There is no data on the availability of beds in hospitals across the State as the Health Department has stopped updating the availability status. Sources in Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust, the nodal agency that implements the Government’s health insurance schemes, said the availability status is not being updated now as there has been a drastic decline in cases. Although the State war room dashboard shows that 13,733 beds in district hospitals had been allocated for COVID-19, there is no mention of how many are occupied.

K.V. Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health), said there are hardly any patients with prolonged stay in hospitals now. “This is mainly due to vaccination. Vaccines reduce hospital admissions and mortality in case of infections in those who were have been fully vaccinated,” he said.

Doctors in Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute said all the COVID beds are vacant now and the Trauma and Emergency Care Centre (TECC) that was converted into a dedicated COVID-19 facility is being refurbished to resume non-COVID services.

“We had four COVID-19 patients until two weeks ago. We shifted them to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital and are now refurbishing the TECC for non-COVID use. In the next two weeks, the entire hospital will resume non-COVID services,” said Ramesh Krishna K., Medical Superintendent of Victoria Hospital.

Karnataka’s seven-day average Test Positivity Rate (TPR) stood at 0.29% as on November 19. The TPR is above the State average in six districts: Mysuru, Bengaluru Urban, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu, and Tumakuru. While Mysuru has the highest TPR at 0.65%, the least has been recorded in two districts, Bagalkot and Koppal that have been consistently recording zero TPR.

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