BENGALURU: As Bengaluru faces a sharp surge in covid-19 cases, the Karnataka government is hoping that a software developed in-house will ease the city’s hospital bed allotment challenges.

The Central Bed Allotment system software, developed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city’s civic body), will be linked to the 108 and 1912 emergency call services. Once the team gets a list of covid-19 positive people from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal, it will send paramedics to their residence after contacting the patient.

Karnataka has been at the receiving end of criticism over its alleged mismanagement of the covid-19 situation and existing hospital bed allotment system.

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“As patients are picked up, the tentative (bed) allotment will show in orange and will change to red once the hospital confirms. And when the patient is discharged it will show the bed in green so that we can allot it to somebody else,” said Tushar Girinath, senior IAS officer and incharge of the bed allotment system in the state.

The beds will be allotted according to proximity to the residence and the hospital to avoid long routes, Girinath added. The system does not require all government hospital beds to be full for it to allot a patient to a private healthcare facility, he said.

The state government has now permitted home quarantine of asymptomatic covid-19 positive persons to free up beds for those who need them. The move will also save people the high cost of treatment in private hospitals.

The Karnataka government recently issued a notice to at least nine leading private hospitals after they denied a patient admission leading to this death. In another incident, a 65-year old collapsed and died on the street after he was unable to get an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Karnataka has rapidly lost the critical ground it had gained during the three months of the covid-19 induced lockdown and is witnessing a surge in cases.

The state recorded 1,839 cases, including 1,172 in Bengaluru, its growth capital, that has seen a sharp spike since 19 June. More worrying is that the source of the infection in most cases detected in Bengaluru remains unknown, indicating the possibility of a full blown community transmission.

The B.S. Yediyurappa-led state government has announced a lockdown on Sunday that translates to a 33-hour closure of the state from Saturday night till Monday morning.

However, it is yet to take any concrete action to contain the spread leading to the view that the government’s only option would be another lockdown. The chief minister has issued directions to identify and seal down localities that have reported a higher number of cases while ruling out another lockdown. With funds drying up and the impact of the lockdown still being felt, the Karnataka government is unlikely to resort to closing down businesses as this could further plunge it into economic uncertainty.

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