EVEN AS 800 to 1,000 fresh cases of Covid-19 are being recorded daily, providing critical care has become a worry due to the rising shortage of isolation beds with oxygen supply and beds under intensive care, especially at some major hospitals in the city. More than 5,000 samples are being tested daily and the total number of positive cases is fast nearing 25,000.
According to the hospital-wise bed availability dashboard set up by the Pune division, allocated beds with oxygen supply are 1,362, of which 295 are vacant. Out of 286 allocated beds with ventilator, 117 are vacant. While information on this dashboard is subject to data filled in by hospitals, several doctors, on condition of anonymity, said the government should take up monitoring of the actual number of beds in the hospital.
According to the dashboard, there are no vacant beds with oxygen supply or ICU beds with ventilators at majority of hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic, Bharati hospital, and KEM hospital. There are just five beds vacant with oxygen supply at Jehangir hospital, while all ICU beds with a ventilator are occupied. Both Nobel Hospital and Sahyadri hospital’s units at Deccan, Kothrud, and Hadapsar show no vacancy.
Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, as per the dashboard, shows only one bed with oxygen supply available while all its beds with ventilators are occupied. At Inlaks and Budhrani hospitals, there are no vacant ICU beds with ventilators. At Symbiosis hospital, there are 50 beds with oxygen supply and one vacant bed with a ventilator. Also, at Jupiter hospital, there are 60 beds available with oxygen supply and seven vacant beds with ventilators.
“In the last 20 days, there is not a single bed vacant at Bharati hospital, which is a dedicated Covid hospital. The severity has increased tenfold in the last 15 days, and there is a shortage of beds with ventilators. All our ventilators are occupied,” said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director at Bharati hospital.
Dr Sanjay Pathare, medical director of Ruby Hall Clinic, said he had received more than 10 to 15 phone calls on Thursday, asking for a bed to admit suspected and positive patients. “There have been calls from as far as Solapur, Ahmednagar, and even Mumbai,” says Dr Pathare, adding, “we already have 150 Covid patients and there are no more beds in the designated space.”
Dr Sunil Rao, general manager at Sahyadri hospital, said he was receiving phone calls as people were not getting beds. “We are also facing shortage of doctors and nurses, and have been advising home isolation asymptomatic patients. So far, across our six centres, we have at least 35 to 40 Covid patients in home isolation,” Dr Rao said.
While there are 290 positive patients undergoing treatment at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, medical director Dr Kelkar has urged all hospitals and nursing homes to join in and treat patients. “There is an increasing trend where in maternity homes, patients testing positive for the novel coronavirus are immediately referred to other hospitals,” Dr Kelkar said, appealing to small and medium hospitals, and nursing homes to start treating Covid patients.
Rekha Dubey, chief operating officer at Aditya Birla Hospital, said the workload was increasing, but they were dealing with the situation and following strict protocol so that the staff did not get the infection. At Noble hospital, the problem is a little different. They have already admitted 190 positive patients but are facing challenges with housekeeping and nursing staff.
“Ideally, we should have 400 nurses, but there are just 280 and most of them are from Kerala. Families of nurses are unwilling to send them to work as cases are on the rise and there is fear,” said Dr H K Sale, executive director of Noble Hospital.
Need to sensitise people, more than 500 positive patients in home isolation: Collector
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said more than 500 people sought home isolation as they w ere asymptomatic, and there was a need to sensitise people on new guidelines.
He said there was apprehension over a patient’s health at home, but people needed to be informed that recovery rates were increasing and, even at home, patients will be monitored by doctors.
Pune Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said as anticipated, number of cases was increasing, but those who were asymptomatic should not occupy beds required for critical care.
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