Confusion over BU number persists
Kumar Pushkar, the officer in-charge of bed allotment in the city, says guidelines will be posted on BBMP website
Raghava recently had a harrowing experience when the civic body’s war rooms refused to allot a bed to his father without a Bengaluru Urban (BU) number, contrary to clear orders from the Karnataka government not to insist on the same.
“My father’s RT-PCR report was negative. But he developed severe symptoms and a HRCT scan revealed severe infection. The helplines refused to allot a bed without a BU number, and I was also not guided on how to get a BU number,” he said.
Citizen volunteers manning helplines to help patients book beds also have a similar complaint.
“Zonal war rooms are unhelpful if there is no BU number. There is no clarity on the procedure to be allotted a BU number based on the HRCT scan report. Each one passes the buck and we are made to call several people, with no help eventually,” lamented Shyalaja, a volunteer with one of the citizen helplines.
While many like Raghava are forced to take a paid bed in a private hospital, not everyone will be able to afford the same. Valuable time is lost in securing a bed, which may adversely impact the health of patients, volunteers point out.
Kumar Pushkar, the officer in-charge of bed allotment in the city, said there was a clear procedure in such cases. “It has come to our notice that the zonal war rooms are not guiding callers properly. I have issued instructions on the same and the process will be streamlined shortly. We will also post clear guidelines on BBMP’s website,” he said.
A patient can get a bed allotted by the civic body with an SRF ID, which is issued when a sample is taken for a test, and a HRCT scan report certified by a doctor assessing the report as the patient being infected with COVID-19, Mr. Pushkar said. “All such cases with no BU numbers are being referred to the central war room helpline 1912 by the zonal war rooms. Patients and their family members must call 1912 directly if they do not have a BU number. Those at the central war room collect SRF ID, ask the caller to send the HRCT scan report through WhatsApp and assign a temporary CTP number and allot a bed. The patient needs to produce the HRCT scan report and a doctor’s certificate at the hospital during admission,” Mr. Pushkar explained.
In some cases, patients have not been tested, but have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the HRCT scan; they do not have even an SRF ID. The civic wants such patients to take a Rapid Antigen Test and get an SRF ID, as it is needed to track the patient in their database.