Karnataka is one of the worst-hit states by COVID-19 and Bengaluru has emerged as the new hotbed for COVID cases. With record-high fresh cases, thousands of deaths on a daily basis, the prevailing COVID situation has rendered all governments to curb the virus spread useless. As a result, the hospitals are overwhelmed and COVID patients have no where to go for critical care. Amidst all this, fake leads about COVID beds is a silent killer no one's talking about.

International Business Times has reviewed many such cases where COVID patients are dying due to lack of hospital beds. In many cases, families of COVID patients are running behind fake leads, which are in circulation in many WhatsApp groups and on social media platforms.

Coronavirus patient in hospital
Courtesy: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

St John's has 1000+ COVID beds

There's a viral message in circulation that claims St John's has opened up 1250 beds, of which 729 belong to BBMP. In order to book those beds through BBMP, people are asked to call 14410. To add a sense of authenticity, the message further reads: "The above information has been verified by an acquaintance who works with St. John's at 5:30 pm on May 3rd."

Naturally, St John's is a reputed hospital in Bengaluru and one might easily rely on the shared information. So the next course of action is calling the given number, which puts your call on hold for several minutes. And when that doesn't work, people would think it would be best if the patient is taken straight to the hospital. But as it turns out the lead is fake. Countless hours wasted, numerous families of COVID patients have fallen for such fake leads, which eventually result in delay in getting COVID patient into a hospital. When time is of the essence, every minute counts and when such leads are followed, patients have to pay for it with their life.

covid beds

Rajiv Gandhi Hospital allocated as COVID hospital

Another such lead involving a government-run hospital has been causing havoc in the city of Bengaluru. The viral message claims Rajiv Gandhi hospital in Jayanagar has been allocated as COVID hospital and a lot of beds are available. Moreover, the undated message claims that the hospital is not listed in BBMP website, which makes availability of beds despite city-wide demand. Since there's no contact number in the message, people are either flocking to the hospital or calling their number, again wasting precious hours behind a dead-end lead.

What should you rather do?

It is important to realise that such fake leads only waste your time, at a time when a critical COVID patient needs urgent hospitalisation. As a result of this, many patients are dying. To avoid that, people in Bengaluru must only call 108 or 1912 for booking of beds through BBMP. Alternatively, people can call hospitals directly to make sure a bed is available before moving the patient.