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PGIMER increases number of Covid beds to cope with rising caseload

PGIMER Director Professor Jagat Ram says that more number of younger patients are being admitted due to low oxygen levels.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
April 20, 2021 10:08:45 am
Patients at one of the OPDs at PGIMER, Sector 12, on Monday. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

By April 17, out of the 253 beds available at PGIMER’s Covid-19 Hospital, 244 were already occupied. Of the 200 non-ICU oxygen beds, 192 were occupied and out of the 53 ICU beds, including ventilator beds, 52 were full.

On April 19, out of the total 283 available beds, 225 were occupied, while the non-ICU Oxygen beds, out of 230, 184 had patients, and the ICU beds, including ventilator beds, 41 out of 53 were occupied. “Yes, with the new surge, we are almost full, and from 200 Covid beds in February, we increased capacity to 230 beds and yesterday, we added 30 more beds, with three ICU beds also added, some on the hospital side, and some in the Emergency isolation complex. Our capacity is 85 to 90 per cent full, as apart from the around 240 Covid patients, we have 1406 non-Covid patients in various centres of the Institute, 180 on ventilator, who are non-covid and 350 in the Emergency complex, so yes, we are hard-pressed as we have a large number of patients from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, apart from the city,” says Professor Jagat Ram, Director PGI.

The Institute has moderate to severe Covid cases with co-morbidities, with many needing oxygen support. “The new variants of the virus have resulted in a faster spread of the disease, with many younger patients in the age group of 25 to 40 on oxygen. “The infection has trickled down to the younger age group, though the mortality is higher in those with co-morbidities, and the new variants are causing a faster spread, with the peak not before mid-May or June,” adds the Director.

Professor Ram also points to a recently published report in The Lancet that states that the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is an airborne pathogen. “This makes the disease more dangerous, for the pathogen can stay infectious in the air for as long as three hours. Many scientists in the publication say that it can infect people much faster, especially those in enclosed rooms, closed cavities, and also crowded places. And if it’s airborne, no matter what the variant, the spread will be faster. The only way to prevent infection is by wearing a three-layered mask, avoiding crowded places and maintaining social distancing, and health care workers must wear 9-95 masks. No one can take this spread casually and we must ensure all precautions,” says Professor Ram.

Commenting on the decision of the government to extend the Covid-19 vaccination drive to people above 18 years of age, Professor Ram says, “This is an excellent decision as in the second COVID 19 wave, the young population is affected. It will protect this most mobile young age group against Covid19 infection.”

PGI’s Radiology Dept starts online appointments

With an intent to further facilitate the patients and curb the spread of Covid-19, PGIMER’s Department of Radiology started online appointment for Radiology investigations for OPD patients with immediate effect on Monday.

Professor MS Sandhu, Head of PGIMER’s Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, said, “It is not advisable for patients or their attendants to physically come to the hospital to have appointments for Radiology investigations”, and thus, the department has started online appointments for Radiology investigations for OPD patients on PGI mobile No7087007893. All queries will be addressed from 8.00 am to 11.30 am and patients will be given appointments between 11.30 am and 2.30 PM on all working days and between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm on Saturday, said Dr Sandhu.

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