April 16, 2021 8:29:05 am
As Covid cases rise in Bihar and ICU beds in state government hospitals fully occupied, as many as 14 private hospitals in Patna have been asked to start treating Covid patients. Over a dozen private hospitals are already treating Covid patients.
Unlike the first wave when government hospitals took the maximum load of Covid treatment, private hospitals, mostly in Patna and Bhagalpur, are taking the maximum load this time.
Though there has been no final word yet on declaring AIIMS, Patna, as dedicated Covid hospital, 50 ICU beds have been created at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) for Covid patients. Three leading Patna hospitals besides IGIMS — AIIMS, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) and Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) — have altogether less than 400 ICU beds.
With scenes of chaos at government hospitals and a viral image of a Lakhisarai man lying dead outside NMCH two days ago, there is a general sense of distrust in the government system among the people. Private hospitals, which have altogether about 1,200 ICU beds, have been treating patients coming from across the state. Almost all beds of private hospitals are full.
But some private hospitals have been reporting oxygen shortage, forcing patients to shift to other hospitals. Rahul Kumar, a Sheilhpura resident, said, “We got a friend admitted in a private hospital in Patna but the hospital has run short of oxygen. We are clueless where to go as almost all government hospitals are also full.”
Also among those infected with the virus are Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh and two principal secretaries. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who took his second dose of Covid vaccine on Thursday, said: “We are doing everything possible. We have increased daily testing to one lakh and also vaccination drive. We are closely monitoring the situation and increasing hospital beds.”