Andhra Pradesh Covid-19 Educational Health Legal Science

Coronavirus: Health hub grapples with shortage of hospital beds

Visakhapatnam: The City of Destiny, which is considered a health hub by not only people of North Coastal Andhra but also neighbouring States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh due to presence of a quite a number of multispeciality hospitals both in private and government sectors, has been witnessing a virtual chaotic situation for the past one week with Covid-19 patients gasping for a bed with ventilator support.

The spurt in Covid cases, which started in the first week of April, reached a peak last week as the daily count hovered between 800 and 1,050. This sudden spike in Covid cases has put additional stress on availability of hospital beds. The CSR block in KGH, which has 500 beds, is almost full with 440 patients and same is the case with VIMS where there is a wait list for admission to hospital. As the government hospitals were full, people had to run to private hospitals.

The situation during the first wave of Covid was not like the second one as 90 per cent of the affected persons then did not require oxygen support. Hence, there was not much stress on oxygen and ventilator beds. During the second wave, there has been a sudden jump in the number of patients requiring oxygen support and this has put an additional stress on these beds leading to the present chaotic situation. There are over 3,000 oxygen beds and 500 beds with ventilator support in the city hospitals, sources said.

Nodal officers for 61 private, govt hospitals in Vizag dist:

Laxmikant of Berhampur in Ganjam district said he brought his relative to Vizag for Covid treatment. After reaching the city, the patient was denied a bed. After running from pillar to post, he could admit his relative in a private hospital, Laxmikant said. Several people from Odisha are undergoing treatment in corporate hospitals at Maharanipeta, Ramnagar and Health City.

The situation, however, is likely to ease as the district administration has appointed nodal officers for 61 Category A and Category B hospitals both in government and private sectors. “Private hospitals cannot simply say there are no beds henceforth as it has been made mandatory to display the bed availability on digital boards,” District Medical and Health Officer PS Suryanarayana said.

A help desk manned by government appointed staff will monitor the situation at all private Covid empanelled hospitals. About 1,000 more beds will be available after the private medical college hospitals are made Covid hospitals. Gayatri and GITAM have already started functioning as Covid hospital. There are 6,500 beds in Covid hospitals in the district. Of the total, over 3,500 beds have oxygen support. Referring to severe shortage of Remdesivir injection, the DMHO said all the hospitals have been asked to give their indent for two weeks. Remdesivir stocks will arrive soon.