The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has constituted a team to undertake an audit of all fatalities due to COVID-19 in the various hospitals in the city.
Announcing this, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad told reporters here on Wednesday that the civic body had identified 19 hospitals where the case fatality rate was high.
Prominent among these was St. John’s Medical Hospital, where the case fatality rate was 14.8%. Of the 1,368 COVID-19 patients admitted there, 202 had passed away.
“The special team will visit the hospitals for the death audit. We have also developed a format seeking more information about each case, such as time of admission, condition of patient during admission etc.,” he said.
There were also some hospitals where the case fatality rate was low, such Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Hospital, where the rate was 1.4% The case fatality rate in the city was 1.45% in August.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a video conference with all Chief Ministers, has said the case fatality rate should be less than 1%. We are working towards this,” he said and added that the door-to-door survey would help with early identification of patients and early hospitalisation.
Mr. Prasad said the civic body had increased the number of tests in the city and the positivity rate was roughly around 10%. The number of tests – Rapid Antigen Test and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) – had increased to more than 30,000 a day. “With more tests being conducted, more cases are being detected. But this is not something to be alarmed about. If we isolate those who test positive, the chain is broken and the spread can be controlled,” he said and added that compared to June and July, the mortality rate had come down to 1.52% in August.
Some CCC to be closed
With many COVID-19 patients opting for home isolation, the Commissioner said more than 50% of beds in the COVID Care Centres (CCC) were vacant. At the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) CCC, only 1,500 of the 6,500 beds were opened up for patients, apart from 1,500 set aside for doctors and nurses. “The remaining beds will be shifted to hospitals and hostels. Things that were being rented will be returned. We will take a call to decide on closing down one or two CCC facilities. We may open them again, if required in future,” he said.
Changes in containment zones
Mr. Prasad said that barricading and putting up COVID-19 poster on the door of the positive patient’s home had led to patients and their families being stigmatised. “We have stopped barricading 100 m radius around the house of COVID-19 patients. Barricading is done only if there are more than 3 cases. There are just 1,018 such cases in the city. Less than two cases, we see no need for barricading. There are 17,159 such cases in the city,” he explained.
He also said that during a discussion with the Chief Secretary and officials of the Health Department, it was decided to not put up posters as well. “The Health Department will be issuing a circular in this regard soon,” he said and added that the civic body would just inform the neighbours if a person in the locality/neighbourhood had tested positive for COVID-19.