Why is India’s largest Covid Care Center not in use Amidst Corona Crisis?

The government had shut down the center within a month and a half of its inauguration citing low admittance of patients!

India's Largest Covid Care Center at BIEC, Bengaluru | PC: HuffPost.com

The country is caught in a deep public health crisis amidst Covid second wave that has hit the entire country. The shortage of beds, oxygen supplies, and medicines has left millions troubled. The situation in Karnataka is worse. Cases are being reported every day wherein Covid infected patients not allocated with hospitals bed found are found to be suffering on the roadsides. Why is the situation in Karnataka so worse? Will Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa ever answer the question as to why the state government failed to mobilize and better the medical field even after 15 months after the first wave of Covid hit the state?

Last year, when the Covid cases were on the rise, the country’s largest Covid Care Center with 10,100 beds for treatment and patient isolation was opened at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) on Tumkur Road. The state government not just had spent millions of rupees on this but also had publicized the same heavily.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa had said, “The pandemic lasts for a few more months and the state government is ready to tackle it. As part of such measures, we are setting up the country’s largest Covid Care Center. The Covid Care Centre will have 10,100 beds including 100 for ICU patients and the work is undertaken by a team of senior IAS officers.”

care center
PC- The logical Indian

” More than 2,200 staff, including doctors and police, will be deployed here. For every 100 patients, one doctor, two nurses, two housekeeping staff, and marshals will be there. The center is equipped with a scientific waste disposal system, with a dedicated team for laundry to wash bed sheets, blankets, and pillow covers. Patients with mild symptoms will be housed here, with a centralized system for allocating beds. There are also ICU, ECG, and oxygen support facilities and a control room set up in a nearby hospital would oversee the center 24 × 7. “The central team visited the center and appreciated the arrangements. If cases are on a rise after the lockdown is lifted, they will be recorded here.” Yeddyurappa asserted that the state was well equipped.

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This had also been widely reported by the media with a lot of emphasis. It had reassured to the public to a large extent. Indeed, such a system is urgently needed today. But if one visits the Bangalore International Exhibition Center on Tumkur Road, they will realize that the country’s largest Covid Care Center has disappeared. Why is the center, which was inaugurated on July 27 last year, is no longer in use?

This is because the government had shut down the center within a month and a half of its inauguration. The reason provided was that not many patients were admitted! The BBMP, which made such a decision on September 5, closed down the center on September 15. Even while it was operating, the required infrastructure was not existing and there had also been allegations of corruption in the purchase of goods worth crores of rupees.

However, if at all the center existed today, would there be such a large number of people dying on the streets without being able to obtain a hospital bed? Had the government foreseen and made efforts to run it even when lesser patients were being admitted, would there have been such a terrible situation in the state today? We must also understand that experts always predicted the coming of the second wave and had warned the government to be on its foot to tackle the issue.

What is the Yeddyurappa-led BJP government that back then claimed bravely that the state was ready to tackle the rise of cases doing now?  A total of 123 deaths and 25795 new cases were reported on 22nd April in Karnataka, according to statistics released by the Health Department. There are more than 24,600 active cases in Bangalore alone. How many people would have benefited from that center if it had existed today?

There is yet another point to be noted here. The Sardar Patel Covid Care Center and Hospital was also built in Delhi last year. It has still existed and the Delhi government has decided to revive the same. However, the center in Karnataka is not in a situation to be revived. The question now is, whether the government will rebuild the Covid Care Center and ensure sufficient oxygen supply to these beds within a week before.

GauriLankeshNews.com is trying to contact the Health and Family Welfare Department Minister Dr K Sudhakar to obtain the government’s answer to these questions but there has not been any response as yet. This story will be updated if they respond.

The article was published on our Kannada website naanugauri.com. It is translated into English by Shashank SR.

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