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Vacant ICUs and ventilator beds down to single digits in Gurgaon, officials say plan in place to boost capacity

Gurgaon has seen more than 11,000 new Covid cases in the past week. Officials offered reassurance that both oxygen and Remdesivir are available in sufficient quantities.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon |
Updated: April 19, 2021 7:57:34 pm
Gurgaon Max Hospital SOS, Gurgaon Max Hospital oxygen, Oxygen crisis in Gurgaon Max, Gurgaon covid cases, Gurgaon news, Indian expressAccording to the tweet, the hospital is currently treating 70 Covid patients. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha/Representational)

With Gurgaon recording more than 11,000 new Covid cases in the past week, the availability of vacant ICU and ventilator beds has come down to single digits.

As per data available on the web portal set up by the district administration for Covid-related information, only 9 of the 466 ICU beds reserved for Covid patients were vacant as of 5 pm on Monday. Of the 226 ventilator beds reserved, only three were vacant. The number of available oxygen beds was slightly better, with the portal showing that 131 of the 1,948 such beds reserved for Covid patients were vacant.

Officials on Monday, however, said arrangements are being made to increase the bed capacity of the district, and also offered reassurance that both oxygen and Remdesivir are available in sufficient quantities.

This dearth of beds was amongst the main issues discussed at a meeting held by Additional Chief Secretary of the Government of Haryana T C Gupta with nodal officers for various Covid-related duties in the district on Monday. Officials later said a plan has been chalked out increase beds available in government facilities from 200 to 800.

Gupta, who was appointed by the state to “review/monitor Covid-19 preparedness” in Gurgaon las week, said: “We have reviewed the whole situation today, everything seems satisfactory except the situation of beds for Covid patients; a deficiency is being felt in this regard… We have two government facilities – ESI and Civil Hospital – and also have a tie up with three places – Medeor, SGT university, and World Medical College – but we felt this is not enough right now.”

“So, it has been decided that this facility will be ramped up and a plan has been made on a war scale. In the next three days, you will see that the availability of beds in government facilities, which is 100 right now and combined with the tie ups is 200, will be increased to 800. If we manage to make 800 beds available, no resident of Gurgaon will have to go searching for a bed,” he said.

In order to better manage the facilities and make the process of admission easier for Covid patients, the Gurgaon district administration is also focusing on two things – inspecting hospitals to ensure “proper admission criteria and discharge guidelines are being followed”, and ensuring the data on the online portal on bed availability is accurate.

For the purpose of the former, officials said 10 teams have been formed, each comprising representatives of the Civil Surgeon, the IMA, and the hospital or medical institution concerned, which will inspect the hospitals “every 72 hours” “to ensure smooth turn over and bed availability”.

“Since these teams have been formed, the situation has seen an improvement. In fact, many such people have been discharged who did not need hospitalisation,” said Gupta.

With regard to the portal, meanwhile, officials said senior officers have been posted at 10 major hospitals in the city who have to “mandatorily ensure that occupancy status of beds of hospital concerned is shared and timely updated on the web portal”.

“We have attached one Excise and Taxation Officer and they have further delegated the task to their own inspectors. They sit at the cash counter where the registration and discharges happen to give us a more realistic picture at every major hospital admitting Covid patients,” said Munish Sharma, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Manesar, who is also the nodal officer for supervision of government health facilities for bed and ventilator management and for bed management in private requisitioned hospitals.

“We are going to make the link better so that information is updated on a more real time basis. Right now, we are going to be updating it probably three or four times a day,” he said.

Although acknowledging a shortage of beds has been felt in the district, officials dismissed any concerns regarding shortage of oxygen and Remedisvir. During Monday’s meeting, it was revealed that the district currently has 800 vials of the medicine.

“In terms of oxygen, Haryana is fortunate that we have no lack of oxygen, our own production in Haryana is 272 metric tons per day, our consumption right now, at its peak, is 60 metric tons, and if this continues at this pace also, we will not need more than 120 metric ton per day, so we have surplus,” said Gupta.

“As far as Remedisvir is concerned, in our government hospitals it is available in sufficient quantity, in our central store also it is available and, on Wednesday, we are receiving more medicine… we have data about how much Remedisvir is available in each hospital and will monitor this online. If they feel a need, then we will speak to the stockist and others and make more available. However, I feel that if someone wants to misuse it or do profiteering that is a different thing but otherwise, in Haryana and Gurgaon, there is no deficiency,” he said.

On Monday, Gurgaon recorded 1,809 fresh Covid cases, with five people also succumbing to the infection – the district’s highest fatality count in a single day this year. There are now 12,772 active cases, of which 11,965 are in home isolation. The number of active cases in the district has more than doubled – from 5,549 as of April 11 to 12,196 on April 18.

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