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Indian Air Force to Set Up COVID Facility in Bengaluru as per the directions of Karnataka HC

Indian Air Force COVID Facility

On Wednesday (May 5, 2021), the Karnataka High Court was informed that, due to the  alarming rise in the COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, the Indian Air Force has offered to establish a dedicated COVID Care facility in Jalahalli Bengaluru, for the treatment of the general public. 

According to a memo filed by the Central Government, a meeting was chaired on May 3, 2021, by P.Ravi Kumar, Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka, and attended by senior officers of the Army and the Air Force via video conferencing, in accordance with the earlier directions issued by the court.

The Indian Air Force offered to set up a dedicated COVID care facility at Jalahalli for the treatment of the general public during the meeting.

The Indian Air Force would provide the facility with the necessary supervisory personnel (Medical). Medical specialists, Anesthesiologists, and other doctors, officers of Nursing Paramedics and other support personnel fo housekeeping, catering, biomedical, waste management & laundry have been outsourced to a Contractor. 

The State Government has agreed to meet all Pharmacy needs (ie. Medicines, Oxygen and its supply chain). External security and traffic management, as well as two personnel per shift who are fluent in the local language will also be reputed to staff the reception area around the clock.

The memo also specifies the timetable for establishing the facility. It is expected that by May 6, 20 beds equipped with Oxygen Concentrators will be operational. In addition, by May 20, 100 beds (10 ICU beds, 40 beds with piped oxygen, and 50 beds with Oxygen Concentrators) will be operational.

However, the availability of ICU beds and piped oxygen beds is contingent on the Contractor laying the pipelines at the facility completing his work and the State Government supplying oxygen cylinders. When fully operational, the facility will have 100 beds, all of which will be used by the State Government. The admission to the aforementioned facility shall be regulated by the State Government upon notification to the Facility In-Charge.

It is also stated that as indicated, the scaling up of operations, will be contingent on the State Government supplying Oxygen. Furthermore, the current contracted oxygen supply to the Command Hospital, Air Force (Bangalore) is just enough to meet its needs, ruling out any diversion to the proposed COVID facility at Jalahalli.

On 29th April 2021, the court had stated in its order that "In disaster-created situations, the Armed Forces have always respected and assisted civic administration. Bengaluru is in a critical situation. As a result, we direct BBMP officers, including the Commissioner, and the state government to convene a meeting with Army and Airforce officers in the city as soon as possible.We hope and trust that Army/Air Force officers will go out of their way to assist civic administration by constructing a large number of oxygen-filled beds."

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