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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Amid rising Covid cases, Maharashtra faces bed shortage, Nagpur worst affected

Nagpur is the worst affected. On Thursday, it had only three ventilator beds left.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
April 9, 2021 1:40:51 am
Maharashtra COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra coronavirus cases, Nagpur COVID-19 news, Nagpur coronavirus cases, mumbai news, indian expressCitizens gathered at the Jumbo Covid Hospital in Mulund to get the vaccine on Thursday. (Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

With spike in Covid-19 cases across the state, major cities in Maharashtra are facing a severe shortage of hospital beds. An analysis of bed availability in eight cities shows that vacancy for oxygen, ventilator and ICU beds is only between 3 to 18 per cent. Nagpur is the worst affected. On Thursday, it had only three ventilator beds left.

Even though municipal corporations are working overtime to increase bed capacity in these cities, the rising case load make patients face an uphill task in accessing beds for treatment.

Mumbai on Thursday had 16.9 per cent oxygen, ICU and ventilators available, down from 17.9 per cent. Pune’s bed vacancy dipped from 14.3 to 13.3 per cent and Nashik saw steepest drop in a day, from 20 to 18.2 per cent.

Thirty teams from the Central government visited 30 worst-affected districts of Maharashtra on Thursday to study the ground situation and make recommendations. This includes Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar that have the highest load of new cases.

Nagpur had 4.4 per cent beds available on Wednesday, by Thursday it dropped to 3.7 per cent. There were only three ventilators, 31 ICUs and 165 oxygen beds left. Nagpur corporation officials expressed helplessness at the growing cases.

Municipal Commissioner Radhkrishnan B said in the past 10 days, cases from rural areas have grown from 25 to 40 per cent. “Patients from rural areas are also getting admitted in the city facilities. We are arranging for more non-invasive ventilators,” he said. The Nagpur corporation will add 450 beds in three hospitals in 10 days.

Nagpur officials said even as they are close to exhausting their 5,350-bed capacity in hospitals, a small silver lining is the steady positivity rate in the city. “In some hotspots, we are seeing a dip. The number of hospitalisation of patients aged above 60 years has also reduced, which means deaths will also reduce,” a senior official from Nagpur said. In Pune, corporation dashboard data shows there were 102 ventilators vacant on Wednesday, which reduced to 62 on Thursday. Thane, too, saw a surge in ICU admissions, and noted a drop from 48 to 28 vacant ICU beds in a day.

Most cities in the state are adding 50-100 beds every day, as per the data.

In Mumbai, 265 beds were added on Wednesday. Currently, 2,358 oxygen, ICUs and ventilators are vacant, maximum among all cities. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said they plan to add 300 ICU beds in Nair Hospital and jumbo centres.

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