Bengaluru: Notwithstanding the Karnataka government’s claim that there is no shortage of beds in the hospitals, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who tested positive for COVID -19 earlier Saturday, was in for a rude shock when a private hospital in Bengaluru reportedly turned down his request for admission citing shortage of beds.
Senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader Kumaraswamy, who had been campaigning for the bypolls in Basavakalyan, returned to Bengaluru on Friday night, and as he was feeling exhausted, he chose to stay back at a hotel instead of going home.
On Saturday morning, Kumaraswamy tested positive for COVID-19. He intended to isolate himself at his farm house, but the doctors advised him to get hospitalised immediately.
However, Kumaraswamy failed to get admitted to a plush private clinic here, which is one of the most sought after hospitals by the VIPs in Karnataka, as the authorities reportedly expressed their inability to allot him a bed due to shortage of the same.
Later, he was allotted a bed in another plush hospital on the Bannerghatta Road, which he kept reserved due to a court hearing he needs to attend in connection with a case. Due to contracting the disease, the former CM will not be able to attend the hearing in person, and is likely to be present virtually.
Confirming this to the media, the JD(S) MLC Ramesh Gowda said that Kumaraswamy would get admitted to the hospital for treatment after attending the scheduled court hearing.
“If this can happen to one of the most influential persons in Karnataka, one can imagine what the situation is on the ground for the common man,” Gowda said.
Meanwhile, after coming to know about the former CM’s ordeal, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar tried to get him a bed, but in vain.
The state had reported 14,859 new COVID cases and 78 deaths on Friday, taking the total number of active cases to 1,07,315. The government is grappling with the private sector to raise the number of beds in the hospitals.
Sudhakar had said on Friday that there are around 1,000 beds in the government medical colleges and hospitals and around 5,000 beds in the private medical colleges reserved for COVID-19 patients.
With the exponential surge in COVID-19 cases leading to increased demand for beds, Sudhakar had appealed to the hospitals to only admit patients needing critical care.
“Almost 95 per cent of the infected persons are either asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms in this second wave. Only 5 per cent of COVID patients need hospitalisation. So I appeal that only those with severe symptoms must approach the hospitals for treatment.
“We have instructed the private hospitals to free beds for critical COVID patients. We have asked them to admit only those who need critical care, and to open quarantine centers in collaboration with hotels for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients,” the minister had stated.