CCC at BIEC seeing steady rise in occupancy

In the thick of a controversy not long ago, the COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC) at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tumakuru Road is now seeing demand as the number of cases is witnessing a steady rise.

According to the dash board on the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) website, as on 5 p.m. on August 3, a total of 589 beds were occupied. A total of 1,500 beds are available at BIEC.

According to Rajender Kumar Kataria, who heads the task force formed to set up CCCs, the demand is because people think it has better facilities. “Though the facility is ready, we have only opened up one hall with 1,500 beds, and another hall with 900 beds for doctors and nurses,” he said and added that if numbers increase, more halls would be opened up. Currently, around 6,500 beds are ready.

Mr. Kataria said top of the line facilities were being provided at the centre, which are superior to those in similar facilities in other cities.

“I was anxious after testing positive. But after coming here, I am happy with the facilities here,” says Mamatha (name changed), who is in the CCC at the BIEC.

Another person expressed happiness about the facilities at the centre, especially the standard of cleanliness. “We get good food thrice a day. We are not confined to a room. We are able to walk around in the corridor, play carrom and other games, and mingle with others,” said Vasudev (name changed).

BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Sarfaraz Khan said that compared to other CCCs, the BIEC centre was a large facility, with separate arrangements for women and men, an entertainment centre, dining area and other facilities. “Unlike other centres at GKVK or Haj Bhavan where those who have tested positive are in rooms, BIEC is open. It is this openness that gives the centre a positive atmosphere, which people seem to like,” he said.

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BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said CCCs were only for people who have tested positive, and are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. “The care at these centres is provided free of cost. We want to create a positive environment where people are not stressed,” he added.

The CCC was in the news recently as the renting of cots and mattresses at the centre, touted as being the largest such facility, had led to allegations of corruption. It was later that the government directed the BBMP to purchase the cots, mattresses and other items from contractors, putting an end to the controversy.

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Sagar Biswas

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