Updated: May 11, 2021 10:53:29 am
Punjab since April 25 has witnessed a 163 per cent increase the occupancy of L-2 and L-3 beds – in which oxygen supply is provided to patients – according to government records. With the state witnessing a spike in Covid-19 patients, there are only 232 unoccupied beds with ventilator facilities across the state as of Monday evening.
Punjab has a total of 1,372 ICU beds with ventilators, of which 389 are in the government sector. As of 9 pm on Monday, only 50 beds in the government sector and 182 in private facilities were available in this category.
Hospitals in nine of Punjab’s 22 districts have no L-2 or L-3 beds and they have had to shift those infected to other districts or hospitals. At the same time, seven districts in the state have no ICU facilities either in private or government hospitals — Barnala, Fazilka, Kapurthala, Mansa, Ropar, Muktsar and Sangrur. A further four districts have five or less such beds – Moga (5), Ferozepur (4), Fatehgarh Sahib (2) and Gurdaspur (1).
This poor show is despite the fact that Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu had recently stated that the government has spent Rs 1,000 crore over the past year to upgrade the health infrastructure.
On April 25, Jalandhar — which has the highest number of beds in L-2 and L-3 facilities at 1,634 — had only 55% occupancy of such beds. By May 9, the number of occupied L-2 and L-3 beds had risen to 1,324 — an increase of 58 per cent.
Other major districts which have seen such a sharp spike in bed occupancy are Ludhiana (111 per cent), Mohali (110 per cent) and Faridkot (284 per cent).
Amrtisar too has shown a huge increase from 336 patients to 1020 patients in L-2 and L-3 facilities, which is an increase of around 204 per cent. In Patiala the cases have increased from 155 to 838 in the same period, which is an increase of 441 per cent.
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