Thiruvananthapuram: Karnataka recorded close to 50,000 new cases on Friday, raising fresh concern about the acceleration in the spread of COVID-19 cases in the state and worries over the availability of beds in locations where the spread of coronavirus is most acute.
On Friday, the state reported 48,296 new COVID-19 cases and 217 deaths. The cumulative cases for the state now stands at 1,523,142.
The increasing pressure on hospitals both for beds and outpatient services have led to a few hospitals in Bangalore and several NGOs and private companies attempting to decentralise vaccination and other services.
While government services are being stretched to the limit, private hospitals in India’s tech city are chipping in with medical services at apartments, which serve the dual purposes of easing pressure on hospitals and keeping more people at home rather than commuting for medical services.
Manipal Hospitals has adopted the unique initiative of creating emergency medical rooms (EMRs) that can handle COVID-19 patients in their own apartments while the Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital is administering onsite vaccination at apartments in the city.
The concept of EMRs in apartments initiated by Manipal Hospitals involves setting aside some space at individual apartments, where all primary equipment including oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, oximeter, CPAP, thermo, nebulizer, and phablet are made available to diagnose health of the patient.
One apartment in the city, Ranka Heights, has already set up an EMR where residents tested positive can report themselves, and avoid further spread of the disease. If the doctor advises respiratory assistance, an emergency call is immediately made to EMR in order to loop the entire EMR team, and raise a request for an ambulance with a trained medical assistant.
“Given that apartments are facing a rapid increase in cases, enhancing EMR support addresses the need of the hour is to support people and handle the situation. We hope to extend this concept to more apartments in Bengaluru,” Manipal Hospitals chief operating officer Karthik Rajagopal told Gulf News.
The hospital group is in discussion with different apartments in the city to replicate the model.
Local reports indicated that the Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital had joined hands with residents’ welfare associations of several apartments to administer onsite vaccinations.
The hospital COO Anubhav Prashant was quoted as saying that Karnataka has nearly 5 million people above 60 years and 1.4 million above 45 years with co-morbidities. Onsite vaccination is expected to be of help to senior citizens and those with co-morbidities who face multiple challenges in going to hospitals for vaccination or treatment.
Several NGOs, too, are involved in the vaccination drive in Bangalore, while many private companies have volunteered to vaccinate the immediate family members of their employees.
On Friday, state chief minister B.S, Yediyurappa said vaccination for those above 18 years will be delayed as the vaccine has not been supplied yet.
To contain the rising number of coronavirus cases, Karnataka plans to use drones to sanitize containment zones as well as deliver medicines and essential goods to those affected. The state director general of police, Praveen Sood said those who disappear after testing COVID-19 positive should be traced and booked under the Disaster Management Act for their irresponsible actions.