Covid-hit Kalyana-Karnataka region ramps bed capacity | Hubballi News

BELAGAVI: With Covid-19 case load in four districts of Kalyana-Karnataka region set to reach the 1,000 mark and experts fearing a runaway increase in the number of cases in the coming weeks, the region is set to expand bed capacity to treat all patients.
Raichur, Yadgir, Bidar and Kalaburagi districts have altogether reported 946 cases as of May 31. In particular, the spike in cases in Raichur and Yadgir districts is frightening, pushing the authorities to make preparations to create or identity more beds to treat the suspected cases.
After the Centre allowed inter-state travel nearly a month ago, over 1 lakh people have returned to North Karnataka from high-risk states Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Raichur deputy commissioner R Venkatesh Kumar told TOI that 11,500 people have returned to the district since May 3 and added they have categorized the returnees into three sections to ensure the district does not run out of beds.
The three classifications are: 4,000 beds identified in newly created care centres for asymptomatic people; 1,000 beds with oxygen in two government and one private hospitals for symptomatic cases; and the district has kept aside a good number of beds for critically ill patients requiring ventilators.
Neighbouring districts Yadgir, Bidar and Kalaburagi, too, have adopted a similar three-step approach treat an anticipated big rise in the number of Covid-19 cases with travel between states and also within the state becoming barrier-free.
Yadgir deputy commissioner M Kurma Rao said they have 800 beds and will scale it up as and when the need arises. Kalaburagi deputy commissioner B Sharath said they have 3,000 beds at the moment and the number will be increased as per demand.
Despite the preparedness on the ground, experts said the government must re-strategize its methods to deal with the pandemic. Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, a medical practitioner, said nearly 90% of patients are asymptomatic and they do not require hospitalization. “They must be asked to be home-quarantined,” he said.
The doctor said that in the coming days when the number of cases is likely to rise, one needn’t undergo tests as long as symptoms are mild. “Only if the condition persists beyond reasonable time, then one should call up the authorities seeking treatment. The state should ready vehicles to carry patients to hospitals. Hardly 1% among the total infected needs hospital care,” he said, adding that the high rate of admission could hamper treatment to patients who are critical and need oxygen support or ventilators.
Dr Maqsood Chanda, a general physician from Bidar, is skeptical about the government’s bed capacity ramp-up exercise. The crisis could worsen if the government does not come up with a new policy allowing patients to be home-quarantined.

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