Expansion of COVID Care Centres put on hold because of low occupancy
With the occupancy of beds at existing COVID Care Centres hovering around 60-64% over the past 10 days, the ramping up of such facilities has been temporarily put on hold. According to data from the civic body, till Sunday evening, of the 4,076 beds in the 10 COVID Care Centres, 2,643 were occupied and 1,433 were vacant.
Private centres set up by hospitals and hotels are seeing a similar trend. Of the 2,611 beds across 42 private centres in the city, only 599 were occupied as on Saturday. At the few facilities set up by residents’ welfare associations and apartment complexes, of the 31 beds available, only one was occupied.
This being the case, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad has directed officials not to immediately set up COVID Care Centres at the Assembly constituency level.
Rajender Kumar Kataria, who heads the task force formed to set them up, told The Hindu that the issue was discussed during a review meeting with the Chief Minister recently. He pointed out that the average number of positive COVID-19 cases being reported over the past 10 days has been around 2,000. Of these, around 80% of the patients have been asymptomatic. “Around 45% of those who have tested positive and are asymptomatic are able to opt for home isolation, while around 15% opt to get admitted to private facilities, and another 15% opt for government-run CCCs,” he said. He added that 300 to 350 people were getting admitted to government-run facilities. “There are at least 300 people getting discharged every day,” he said.
Mr. Kataria said that given the current scenario, there was no point in opening more centres. Concurring, Mr. Prasad said that once the occupancy at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre increases, the option of decentralised centres would be explored.
He has directed zonal teams to identify locations suitable for setting up such centres. “We do not foresee a requirement as of now,” he said, adding that with increased testing, the number of positive COVID-19 cases might increase. As of now, around 10,000 tests are being performed every day. The number is soon likely to touch 50,000, he added.