The Karnataka government has decided to convert an entire floor in all government-run medical college hospitals into isolation facilities for potential COVID-19 cases. Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday said that all government medical college hospitals would be turned into “war rooms to tackle COVID-19”.
The Minister also said that the government is planning to rope in private medical colleges as well to ensure that enough beds are available for housing patients in isolation.
“We are holding talks with various medical colleges in Bengaluru like East Point, Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, and MVJ Medical College. We want to convert one floor in private hospitals in Bengaluru into isolation facilities as well. We want to make sure that we have at least 3,000 beds for housing patients in Bengaluru,” he added.
The state government plans to use the isolation facilities to house those who are tested positive for COVID-19 and also for suspected cases. Each hospital’s isolation facility will have 150 to 250 beds.
“We are also taking measures to ensure that ICU facilities are available to treat serious cases in every district at government and government-run medical college hospitals,” Dr Sudhakar said.
The government will also establish laboratories to test samples at Belagavi, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi and Hubballi. “In the future, we are planning to establish labs in all government colleges. More personnel will be hired to ensure that there is no staff shortage. I will personally get updates from each district every day as we are planning to have meetings via video conferencing daily,” he added.
The state government has also directed all district officials to identify empty buildings owned by the government so that they can be converted into hospitals. “Details of this plan will be chalked out today (Monday) and a proper plan will be announced soon. We are also holding meetings with private colleges so we can rope them in as well,” he said.
Doctors and medical staff who are working day and night after the outbreak of COVID-19 are the real heroes, the Minister said while adding that the state government is mulling introducing a benefits package for health workers, including insurance cover.