Critically ill Covid-19 patients continue to battle for beds, according to the latest data from BMC, which shows that 99 per cent intensive care unit (ICU) beds are full and 94 per cent ventilators are occupied in public and private hospitals in Mumbai, but nearly 12 per cent of the beds are occupied by non-critical patients.
Government officials said hospitals have been instructed to strictly adhere to admission and discharge guidelines and only admit severely symptomatic patients to allow beds for critical patients, but on the ground, it appears this protocol is not being followed.
The city has 1,094 ICU beds in public and private hospitals. Of them 1,083 are full. There are 464 ventilators in public and private hospitals, of them 437 are occupied. Across Mumbai there are 9,284 beds in Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCH) and Dedicated Covid Health Centres (DCHC) that treat moderately ill to severely ill patients; 8,635 beds (93 per cent) are already full.
As per BMC data, as on June 6, only 7,736 patients were symptomatic (of them 962 critical) and needed hospitalisation. But since 8,635 beds are full, at least 899 beds that are additionally occupied have admitted patients who could be handled in Covid Care Centres but have instead sought hospital admission.
“Hospitals do not have fixed criteria for putting patients in ICU. It is possible that different hospitals follow different criteria on who to admit in ICU,” said general surgeon Dr Sanjay Nagral.
As of June 7, the city has 25,575 active Covid-19 cases, of them 13,257 are admitted in either Covid Care Centres, or hospitals. In Covid Care Centres, 62 per cent beds are occupied. There are 4,651 oxygen beds, of them 77 per cent (3,579) are occupied.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “Government has now deputed IAS officers to monitor private hospitals and the bed management. This will ensure patients are discharged when required and only symptomatic people are admitted.”
IAS officer Ajit Patil, who is in-charge of eight private hospitals, including PD Hinduja, Wockhardt and Masina, said, “The allotment in hospitals is going to be through ward level. From today, two BMC officers will be posted in every hospital to manage beds. We are working out a mechanism to figure out how every day status of patients will be assessed, so that they can be discharged at earliest.”
As on June 7, 137 beds were available in private hospitals and 512 in public hospitals for moderately or severely ill patients. The availability of ICU and ventilator is, however, slim, there were 11 ICU and 27 ventilator free in hospitals. BMC data showed the civic body is now heavily relying on jumbo facilities where more oxygen and intensive care beds are going to be set-up. Currently NESCO, NSCI dome, Racecourse and BKC MMRDA’s beds are running full. By June 14, more intensive care beds will be added in NESCO, Mulund CIDCO, BKC MMRDA grounds, Dahisar and in Racecourse jumbo facilities.