By LE Desk

Bengaluru, April 28: The lack of availability of a sufficient number of beds for critically ill Covid patients in Bengaluru is an “alarming situation”, the Karnataka High Court has said while hearing a plea on Covid-linked issues in the state.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Sreenivas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar noted that there had only been a “marginal increase” in availability of beds in the city and that they were insufficient for the number of cases.

The court said the lack of medical facilities — beds, oxygen supply and key drugs like Remdesivir — are linked to the right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The High Court’s remarks came yesterday after it was informed by officials that only 74 HDU beds, 24 ICU beds and 14 ICU ventilator beds were available in the city on April 27 morning. The division bench directed officials to accommodate patients in hospitals belonging to the defence forces, such as Command Hospital, in Bengaluru, The Indian Express reported.

Earlier, on April 23, the bench had called the Covid situation in Bengaluru “shocking” and “scary”.

The city is facing a severe crunch in beds for Covid patients requiring intensive care and ventilator support. “The situation is so bad that even senior government officials cannot get an ICU or an ICU ventilator bed in the city,” a senior official said.

The number of cases in Bengaluru has soared from an average of 4,000 in the first week of April to over 15,000 in the past week. This month has also witnessed 326 more Covid deaths than the previous peak of September 2020 when 971 deaths were reported.

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