ET Bureau Last Updated: Jul 09, 2020, 10.34 AM IST

Bengaluru: The state government held another round of discussion with private hospital managements on Wednesday, following a delay in hospitals handing over half the beds reserved for Covid-19 treatment to the government as they had agreed.

Medical education minister K Sudhakar termed the meeting as “fruitful” and said the hospital managements had offered to reserve up to 3,500 beds to treat Covid patients referred by public health authorities in Bengaluru.

“This is the final meeting with private hospitals and it was held as per the directions of the chief minister. We have arrived at a consensus that the government will get 3,000-3,500 beds in private hospitals,” Sudhakar said.

About 10 days ago, chief minister BS Yediyurappa had met representatives from private hospitals and asked them to offer 2,500 beds to patients referred by the government.

But as on Wednesday, only 147 Covid patients referred by the government were admitted to various private hospitals, indicating a reluctance on the part of private hospitals management to share beds.

Sudhakar said 3,500 beds would be available shortly and every bed would be registered with the centralised allotment system. “Besides beds to treat patients, private hospitals have also offered to collaborate with hotels to set up Covid-care centres. Covid-positive persons with mild or no symptoms who do not require hospitalisation but wish to avail of private medical support can directly approach private hospitals and get themselves admitted in hotels,” the minister said.

Private hospitals have agreed to manage 3,000 beds in Covidcare facilities CN Manjunath, the in-charge of lab testing in Karnataka, advised private hospitals to keep stock of antigen strips to get quick Covid test results.

“Hospitals can do antigen tests on patients seeking medical intervention. It will avoid unnecessary denial or delay in treatment as the RT-PCR test will take a day or two to get the results,” he said.

The Karnataka government has procured one lakh rapid antigen test kits which are likely to arrive on Friday. Antigen test, although not very accurate, is quick and gives the result in 5-10 minutes.