The government is in the process of setting up COVID Care Centres in hotels for people who have contracted the virus but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Some apartment complexes have also come forward to set up similar centres on their premises for residents.
With the city reporting over 1,000 cases a day on most days in the recent past, the need for more COVID Care Centres has become a priority to ensure that those who have contracted it do not unknowingly spread it to others.
The government had approached various residents’ welfare associations, apartment owners’ associations, companies, and hotels. The Commissionerate of Health and Family Services has also issued guidelines for establishing the centres.
Package rates (maximum ceiling)
- Economy/ budget hotels: ₹8,000 per day
- 3-star: ₹10,000 a day
- 5-star: ₹12,000 a day
In a circular issued recently, the commissionerate has stated that private medical establishments may be allowed to manage COVID Care Centres in collaboration with hotels and other staying facilities. While separate registration or permission for such hotels may not be required, the district health officer or BBMP’s Chief Health Officer will have to be informed of such arrangements. These centres, the circular noted, will be the joint responsibility of the private medical establishment and hotel.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels Association and various hospitals have already set up a few centres. According to P.C. Rao, association president, a few hospitals, such as Sparsh and Aster, have tied up with nearby hotels. “Though it is a risky business, we have taken up as part of our social responsibility. We will follow all precautions and SOP issued by the government,” he said and added that the cost sharing would be between the private medical establishment and hotels.
A number of RWAs and apartment owners associations have come forward to facilitate home isolation and management of COVID-19 patients on their premises for the benefit of residents and members of the community.
The circular also listed out the facilities that need to be put in place, the eligibility criteria, required amenities and medical care, and ancillary services.
Vikram Rai from the Bangalore Apartments’ Federation said the federation has been doing groundwork for the setting up of COVID Care Centres for the past 10 days. “We even had a videoconference to discuss the issue with the department officials. We are also preparing an Apartment COVID Treatment Plan,” he said.
Some apartments had also put in place a preliminary infrastructure, apart from tying up with local hospitals.
There are five COVID Care Centres with a bed capacity of 2,088 that are already operational. In a few days, the largest facility with 10,100 bed capacity at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) will be opened.