Karnataka model collapses as COVID-19 tally mounts

Deccan Chronicle.  | vinay madhav

Nation, Current Affairs

In Yadgir, a body was being dragged in an agricultural land, in Hospet, a body was transported on bicycle

A medic hekps her colleague wear a PPE suit before collecting samples for COVID-19 testing at Halasuru gate traffic station in Bengluru. PTI photo

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Model of managing COVID-19 bubble burst within weeks of getting acknowledged by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, as the State is struggling to manage the growing number of patients as well as cremation of dead.

Worst is that the experts are predicting a rapid outbreak of COVID-19 in the State, especially in Bengaluru city and estimating that Bengaluru alone may contribute 40,000 cases by the end of July.

On Wednesday, the government has issued notice to 18 private hospitals for not admitting a patient, who later died near government hospital. Besides, two more patients also breathed their last, after they were denied admission in hospitals.

Meanwhile, harrowing procedures are being followed while the government agencies are burying the dead patients.

In Yadgir, a body was being dragged in an agricultural land, in Hospet, a body was transported on bicycle. Even in Bengaluru, all the norms were thrown into the air and even the PPE kits were disposed of in burial grounds, surrounded by residential areas.

After the media started airing the harrowing tales, the government is blaming the media for creating panic among the people. In some of the cases, where the patients died at home, the bodies wrapped in plastic sheets are kept on streets till the vehicles arrive for transportation.

Though the government has spoken to all the private hospitals over starting COVID_19 treatments, most of the hospitals are not yet equipped to admit the patients. On June 30, one Mr Bhavarial was taken to many private hospitals by his son for ILI like symptoms. However, none of the hospitals admitted him and he died near Bowring hospital.

The government has now issued notice to Fortis, Mahaveer Jain, Suguna, Manipal, Brindavan, Raghavendra, Vikram, Sakra and government run Bowring hospitals for not adhering to Sections 11 and 11 A of KPME Act, 2017.

Though the government claims that Victoria hospital alone has over 1200 beds, it can actually accommodate only around 650 patients. Rest of the beds are required for staff, who work day and night as well as quarantining the staff. Same is the case of Bowring as well as Jayanagar hospitals.

Now, the government has asked the private hospitals to reserve 50% of the beds for COVID-19 patients. Though the hospitals have agreed for the same, they need at least one week's time to equip their hospitals for handing Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the government handling the dead bodies also has come under severe criticism. In Bengaluru, most of the burial grounds are surrounded by residential areas. After coming under fire, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr B Sriramulu assured that the government would make arrangements for burial of the deceased due to COVID-19, in the outskirts of Bengaluru. On Thursday, Bengaluru Urban DC Mr Shivamurthy tweeted that the government has identified over 35 acres of land around Bengaluru city, spreading across nine locations.

These places would be converted exclusively to cremate the patients dying due to COVID-19.

However, there are multiple problems in taking over these lands overnight, which include encroachment on these lands. The government needs at least one week time to clear all the problems and notify the land properly before starting to cremate bodies here.

With experts predicting grim picture ahead and the pandemic fighting system on shaky grounds, the government has decided to put asymptomatic cases under home quarantine.