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Home care scrapped, Karnataka government now struggles to fill Covid Care Centres | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Having done away with the policy of home isolation in urban slums and rural areas, the state government appears to have bit off more than it can chew as it is facing a daunting task in getting infected people into Covid Care Centres (CCC).
Officials say although the state government has upgraded infrastructure in CCCs and has even created a section with oxygenated beds, people testing positive are reluctant to move to these centres.
Taking serious note of reports that many patients in home isolation are routinely flouting rules, resulting in infections spreading and fatalities, the government on Saturday decided not to allow people to recover at home in urban slums and villages. The government also made it mandatory for asymptomatic patients and people with mild symptoms to get admitted to CCCs, which also serve as triage centres.
CN Ashwath Narayan, deputy chief minister and chairman of the Covid task force, who chaired a review meeting in Hassan on Saturday, directed deputy commissioners of all districts to ensure patients in home isolation are moved to CCCs.
The decision was prompted by health department data which shows 70 patients either died at home or were brought dead to hospital in the period between May 14 and 22. The issue was even raised by Hassan district MLAs who urged Narayan to do away with home isolation completely.
“The spread of infection and deaths in certain geographical areas are yet to come under control even as the overall pandemic situation in the state is improving,” Narayan said. “We can get rid of this problem by making use of CCCs instead of encouraging home isolation.”
He said home isolation has been limited to urban homes which have separate rooms with attached toilets. In a bid to ensure compliance with isolation rules, the government is planning to affix red tape on houses with infected people.
The Covid Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had advised the government to ensure CCCs are equipped with medical facilities, doctor and nursing service, and proper amenities including good quality food and clean toilets so that patients can walk in confidently into these centres.
“CCCs will play a crucial role in controlling the present surge as well as the impending third wave. So, we advised the government to upgrade them and retain them for the future. I am glad that the government acted on it promptly,” said TAC chairman Dr MK Sudarshan.
The government has set up 58 CCC-triage centres in Bengaluru, with a cumulative strength of 3,218 beds. Of this, 1,253 are oxygenated beds, but close to 90% of them were vacant as of Saturday. Only 366 patients walked in, of which 46 were sent to hospital and 172 were referred to HDU. As many as 148 were admitted to CCCs. This, despite the city recording 8,214 fresh cases on Saturday and the 1912 call centre received about 4,000 calls from patients.
The scenario was no different in the rest of Karnataka with only 30% of 19,300 beds occupied in 289 newly set up CCCs in 227 taluks.
“The main reason for this is the lack of awareness about the upgraded facilities at CCCs,” said Sarfraz Khan, BBMP joint commissioner and in-charge of CCCs in Bengaluru. “What patients should know is that they get cured quickly if they are admitted to CCCs. They should also know that if their health condition worsens, they can easily be shifted to hospitals from CCCs.”
He said the situation is improving and more people are getting admitted to care centres after the BBMP announced on Saturday that patients can directly walk-in for admission without having the hassle of calling war rooms or the rigmarole of blocking a bed.

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