Bengaluru: Indian Air Force to open 100-bed Covid care facility at Jalahalli station

Karnataka reported 292 deaths due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, including 135 from Bengaluru, and 44631 fresh cases.

With Covid-19 cases rising in Bengaluru, the Indian Air Force has decided to establish a 100-bed Covid treatment facility at its Air Force Station in Jalahalli.

According to officials, the facility, which will initially have 20 beds, will start on May 6 with oxygen concentrators only. “Once oxygen availability is ensured by the State Government, the remaining 80 beds are expected to be operational by May 20. Of the total 100 beds, there will be 10 ICU beds and 40 beds with piped oxygen. Balance 50 beds will have oxygen concentrators,” the Defence PRO added.

The facility is expected to be manned by specialists, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff provided by the Command Hospital Air Force, Bengaluru. Admission to the facility will be coordinated by BBMP/ Govt of Karnataka through a nodal officer. “The Karnataka government has assured necessary support for pharmacy, oxygen and security,” the official added.

The state reported 292 deaths due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, including 135 from Bengaluru, and 44631 fresh cases.

Earlier last week, two BJP Lok Sabha MPs from the state had appealed to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to extend a helping hand by allowing the use of assets and resources of the armed forces in the state.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi had urged Singh to convert all armed forces hospitals in the state into Covid Care Centres (CCCs). He also requested the Defence Minister to direct DRDO and other military agencies to urgently begin operating makeshift hospitals in the state.

“I request you to convert all Armed Forces Hospitals in Karnataka, including command Hospital in Bengaluru, Military Hospital in Belagavi and INHS Hospital in Karwar (Field Hospitals) into CCCs so that the shortage of immediate medical care to the extent possible can be tackled,” Joshi had written.

“I also urge your good self to kindly take early steps for starting new makeshift hospitals from defence forces in Karnataka to meet the needs of the emergent situation,” Joshi, the MP from Dharwad constituency, said.

Earlier, Bangalore Central MP PC Mohan requested Singh to direct the armed forces to set up a 1,000-bed hospital in the state.

In the letter, he elaborated on the current Covid scenario of the state and capital city Bengaluru, citing that over 20,000 new infections were reported from the latter alone over the last few days.

The other CCCs set up by local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the Karnataka capital are at Vintage Blossom (Bommanahalli), Primerose (Shantinagar), Mangala Raitha Bhavan (Hebbal), Dr BR Ambedkar Medical Collge (Sarvajnanagar), Govt Ayurveda and Medical College, Karmikara Bhavan, Unani Hospital (all three in BBMP West), Bosch Sports Complex (Adugodi), Koramangala Indoor Stadium, HAL, Navya International, Govt Pre-metric Girls Hostel, Haj Bhavan, and NERGH (Jnanabharati campus).

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