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Hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients hit by delay in Bangalore Urban code generation

BBMP health officials said instructions have been passed on to zonal officers to ensure that patients aren’t turned away
uraksha P
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST

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A family of five, including two children, who tested Covid-19 positive on Sunday afternoon struggled to find a hospital bed even as one of them — a 50-year-old cancer survivor’s oxygen saturation levels plummeted from 90 to 84 (normal level is 94) by midnight. Government hospitals insisted on a Bangalore Urban (BU) code that is generated by the BBMP war room.

This, despite a year-old circular saying that patients cannot be refused admission for want of a BU code.

BBMP health officials said instructions have been passed on to zonal officers to ensure that patients aren’t turned away.

When CV Raman General Hospital was approached for a bed, medical superintendent Dr H D R Radhakrishna said: “If we take in patients without a BU number, these beds will reflect as vacant in the central hospital bed management system. If the patients have respiratory distress, they can be admitted in SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infection) wards and after the BU code is generated, they can be shifted to Covid-19 wards.”

Finally, the family, residents of JP Nagar, was admitted to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital without a BU code.

One of the family members told DH: “There was one bed with oxygen that was vacant. My brother-in-law (the 50-year-old man) was accommodated there. The BU number was sent by the BBMP at midnight, 11 hours after we got the test results.”

A doctor at Bowring Hospital told DH the family was admitted after they updated the BU number at the hospital.

Mohammed Ismail from the Emergency Response Team (ERT), a group of volunteers that helps patients find Covid-19 beds, said: “We have had five cases where patients were turned away from hospitals for want of a BU code. This is mostly true in the case of those trying to secure a bed in the government quota in private hospitals.”

The delay, spanning several hours to several days, in the generation of BU numbers has triggered a scarcity of beds across Bengaluru. Experts and officials blamed the large number of tests being carried out daily, which they said is creating a backlog.

According to Dr Sujay Ramaprasad, Medical Director, Neuberg Diagnostics, previously his lab was generating results within a 24-hour period.

“Now, the sheer volume of tests being carried out daily means that the waiting period for results has risen to 48 hours at the least.”

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Published 15 April 2021, 08:08 IST

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