Even as 3,500 beds at dedicated Covid-19 hospitals were occupied as of Wednesday, the jumbo facility at Nehrunagar has only 35 per cent occupancy while the Auto Cluster facility in Chinchwad was only 50 per cent full.
“Though 3,500 beds were occupied in dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, there was less demand for beds in two of our facilities by Wednesday. While Nehrunagar facility had 35 per cent occupancy out of 816 beds, Auto Cluster facility had 100 beds occupied out of the 200 beds,” Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express.
Both the facilities were made fully operational last week.
Hardikar said less occupancy did not mean Pimpri-Chinchwad was out of danger zone. “We are still getting 100 cases every day. The danger has not eased. We will have to access the situation for few more days…,” he said.
Hardikar said they have decided not to shift patients from YCM Hospital, but have started admitting non-Covid patients.
The demand for partly opening YCM Hospital for non-Covid patients has been rising as patients, even from neighbouring talukas, are finding it difficult to receive timely treatment.
According to the PCMC health department, in last two months, 2,054 non-Covid deaths have been registered as against 908 Covid deaths. While Covid-19 deaths have recorded nearly six-fold surge, non-Covid deaths have seen over 40 per cent rise.
According to the data provided by the PCMC health department, from January to August, a total of 7,426 deaths have been reported, of which 908 were related to Covid-19 complications and were reported from April 8 to August 31. Most of the non-Covid deaths were related to heart attack, brain stroke, kidney failure, road accidents, multi-organ failure or death during delivery.
From January to June, Pimpri-Chinchwad had witnessed an average of 700 deaths every month. The trend was similar in the past two years. In January, 830 deaths, February 756 and March 692 deaths were reported. “These were all non-Covid deaths. Though an average of 700 non-Covid deaths are reported every month in Pimpri-Chinchwad, the number of deaths in July was 937 while 1,221 deaths were reported in August. In last two months, non-Covid deaths have jumped by over 40 per cent,” said a health official.
April onwards, Pimpri-Chinchwad started registering Covid as well as non-Covid deaths. In April, a total of 666 deaths were registered, of which only three were due to Covid-19 In May, of the 691 registered deaths, only 12 were related to Covid-19. In June, of the 725 deaths, 65 were due to coronavirus infections.
In July, of the 1,311 deaths registered, 474 were due to Covid-19. In August, 1,655 deaths were recorded, of which 443 were due to the viral infections. “…In June, Pimpri-Chinchwad had recorded the Covid death figure at 65, it shot up to 474 in July and came down to 434 in August,” said Santosh Patil, additional municipal commissioner. “In the last two months, Pimpri-Chinchwad has recorded its highest ever toll,” Patil added.
Dr Shrikrishna Joshi, spokesperson of Lokmanya Hospital, said the high number of non-Covid deaths is because serious patients, especially, elderly patients, are not getting timely treatment. “…Barring one or two big hospitals, there are hardly any hospitals that are currently providing treatment to non-Covid patients,” he said. Of the two branches of Lokmanya Hospital, he said, the one at Nigdi is dedicated to non-Covid patients.
Citing a case of a 91-year-old non-Covid patient from Masulkar Colony, Joshi said, when his condition worsened last week, his family desperately searched for a hospital but struggled to get admission for hours.
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean, YCM Hospital and Medical College, said, “The rise in non-Covid deaths shows that all health facilities are currently concentrating on Covid-19 cases.”
Dr Wable said, “YCMH currently has 610 beds. We will slowly be shifting patients to the new facilities at Nehrunagar and Chinchwad.”
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