STRUGGLING TO check the spread of Covid-19, the PMC is all set to have a tough time in July as increasing number of critical patients could pose a challenge to the preparedness of the civic administration, considering its efforts to decrease the mortality rate.
As of July 1, there were 347 critical patients at various Covid hospitals across the city. Of the total critical patients, 55 were on ventilators and 292 in intensive care unit (ICU) with oxygen therapy. However, the PMC has 580 ICU beds, including 288 with ventilators. A month ago on June 1, there were 165 critical patients, including 35 on ventilators. The number of critical patients has doubled in a month.
Though the PMC has reached demand equal to that of actual ICU beds with oxygen by the end of June, there are sufficient vacant ICU beds with ventilator facility. This, however, is likely to fall short by mid-July, as per projections of the civic body.
The civic administration has projected shortage of 202 ICU beds with ventilators while total shortage is likely to be 400 by the end of July. The civic body has capacity of 18,556 for isolation beds, which include 2,513 beds with oxygen, but the civic administration has projected shortage of 61 isolation beds by the end of the month.
“The projection is based on the trend of increasing patients, and critical at that. Fortunately, total active patients are less than the projected number so far. The increase in testing in the last few days has led to identification of large number of infected patients, who are isolated at various facilities across the city,” said a civic officer, adding that the decision to allow home quarantine of asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms would help control the demand of isolation beds.
The officer said, “The concern is over the increasing demand of ICU beds, especially those with ventilators. There cannot be an alternative for crucial life-saving facility.”
The officer further said it was impossible to create a new ICU facility in a short span, and the PMC, at most, had tried to make oxygen facility for isolation beds available in Covid centres by using portable oxygen supplying machine.
The central government has provided some relief to the PMC, as it has delivered 21 ventilators to the civic body under PMCARES, so far. “We are thankful for the ventilators delivered by the Union government,” said Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
In an appeal, Mohol has urged citizens and social organisations to help the PMC set up more Covid care centres by contributing in providing manpower for medical services and necessary equipment.
“Considering the increasing number of Covid-19 patients in the city, it is necessary to protect maximum people from being infected and reduce mortality. There is a need for more isolation beds with oxygen facility and trained manpower as well as equipment,” he said.
The PMC has made an effort to create awareness for co-morbid and senior citizens to take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected.
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