Karnataka High Court contended that the situation is very scary; only 32 HDU beds, 11 ICU plus ventilator beds are vacant.

Karnataka High Court contended that the situation is very scary; only 32 HDU beds, 11 ICU plus ventilator beds are vacant.

[COVID-19] Karnataka High Court contended that the situation is very scary; only 32 HDU beds, 11 ICU plus ventilator beds are vacant.

The Court directed the State and BBMP to immediately step into action and ensure that additional bed facilities are created, possibly by using beds in Covid centres.

The dwindling number of High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospital beds presents a “scary” situation, the Karnataka High Court said on Friday as it continued hearing the matter on the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in the State.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar observed in its order:

“The situation appears to be very scary. In the city of Bengaluru, there are only 32 HDU beds vacant, only 11 ICU plus ventilators available and no ICU beds available.”

The Court, therefore, issued the following directions:

  1. State and BBMP to immediately step into action and ensure additional bed facilities created, possibly by using beds in Covid centres;
  2. State, BBMP and all concerned to immediately identify availability of beds in all three categories in nearby districts;
  3. State to take immediate action given that there might be surge in Covid and no beds available in any of the three categories;
  4. On next date, State to furnish data on additional beds created between today and next date of hearing;
  5. State to create database of information on supply of oxygen in city of Bangalore (for benefit of smaller hospitals). The same is to be done for Remdesivir as well;
  6. State to set up help desks outside every Covid hospital for persons who cannot be admitted in hospitals. The help desk should also have information on availability of Remdesivir;
  7. On next date, State to come with clear figures on requirements and availability of oxygen;
  8. State to come out with decision to purchase Remdesivir and then provide to hospitals for equitable distribution.

The Court was hearing a case registered suo motu after it received two letters highlighting various difficulties faced by COVID-19 positive patients in the State.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General MB Nargund submitted that using beds in Covid centres maybe be difficult.

When the State submitted that only small hospitals faced difficulties with regard to availability of oxygen, advocate Shridhar Prabhu argued that the supply of oxygen is dependent on “corporate industrial benevolence”.

The Court also questioned the State on the availability of oxygen and the method of its distribution to hospitals.

The matter will be next heard on April 27.

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