The district authorities in Bengaluru are adopting different strategies to combat the rising concern due to the pandemic. Now, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is setting up India's largest COVID care centre at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).
Instead of buying beds, BBMP has decided to rent beds as high as Rs 800 per day. Many have asked whether this move will prove costly for Bengaluru. This move comes as Bengaluru faces a crisis of hospital beds and hospitals refusing to admit patients.
BBMP to rent amenities at COVID care centres
Over the course of the last few days, Bengaluru has recorded a sharp increase in cases. The city has recorded over 10,500 cases in 24 hours. The fear of the pandemic is growing not only amongst the citizens but authorities as well.
To combat a shortage of beds and to battle the load on the healthcare infrastructure of the city, the BBMP has decided to convert the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre on Tumakuru road into a COVID care centre. This will be India's largest housing 10,100 beds. Many lauded this decision which was announced on 5th July.
Now, the BBMP to set this up will be outsourcing and renting amenities like cots, mattresses, fans, etc. from private agencies. The rents go as high as Rs 800 per day the Bangalore Mirror reported. This has raised concerns among the public as it is uncertain as to how long the facility will be utilised as the pandemic only seems to be intensifying.
The high rent is alarming as the cost of renting 10,000 beds for one day will come to Rs 80,00,000 and over the course of a month roughly Rs 24 Crores. This is just the cost of the amenities excluding food which includes — registration facility, blankets, cots, flooring, mattress, bedspread, chairs, towels, pillow covers, hot and cold water dispensers, urinals, toilet, CCTV cameras, pedestal fans, etc. Food which is not included in this amount will be sourced at Rs 250 per day per patient. Moreover, laundry and cleaning services will also be outsourced.
Rajendra Kumar Kataria nodal officer for COVID care centres wrote to the BBMP suggesting they buy amenities like cots and mattresses which can later be used at government hospitals instead of renting them out. We'll have to wait to see if BBMP changes its plans and decides to purchase amenities, or if they continue as is to see what the expenditure will finally amount to. BBMP has not responded or discussed the issue of the renting amenities as of yet, a response is awaited on the matter.