Ongole: The availability of beds and supply of oxygen to the needy patients in the district Covid Hospital, the Ongole Government General Hospital, are becoming difficult as the number of Covid-19 patients is increasing rapidly. Though the district administration is trying its best to facilitate an adequate number of general and oxygen beds, the rapidly increasing positive cases is a cause for worry for the authorities.
By Sunday, 979 of the total 1,126 beds were filled and the requirement of oxygen beds is also increasing rapidly. If the situation continues, all the new Covid-19 positive patients may face more difficulties in getting even a general bed in Ongole GGH, sources said.
Similar to Saturday, on Sunday also, a few patients were seen getting oxygen supply treatment on the GGH verandah along with their attendants. When asked, the GGH officials maintained that the patients were allotted to the third floor, a dedicated Covid-19 treatment ward, in which there is no oxygen supply connection and there are less number of fans.
As the patients belonged to rural areas, they felt suffocation with the summer heat and they came down and settled at the verandah without the knowledge of the medical staff, officials said. Later, they were sent back to the ward and the administration immediately provided extra fans in the ward at the third floor.
Another 70 general beds ward in the neighbouring Girijan Bhavan building will be opened to facilitate better treatment for the Covid-19 patients from Monday, officials said.District Collector P Bhaskar and Joint Collector Chetan visited the GGH on Saturday and inquired about the availability of beds and oxygen supply, medicines and other equipment and PPE kits. The district authorities already added six more authorised Covid hospitals. With this, the total number of Covid-19 hospitals in Prakasam district has increased to 21.
As per official information, up to Saturday, there were 114 ICU beds available in the district, including 37 in Ongole GGH. With respect to the Oxygen beds, 228 are available, including 65 in GGH. In all, 202 general beds are available across the district, including 45 at the GGH.
Ongole GGH has a 20 KL capacity oxygen stock point and its general average consumption before the Covid-19 pandemic) was hardly 1 KL and for every 18th or 20th day, they get Oxygen supplies from Chennai (Sriperumbudur) and Visakhapatnam. But now, as cases are rapidly increasing, the GGH has been consuming nearly 15-16 KL oxygen a day.
“With the intervention of the government, now we are going to get one oxygen tank per day from Monday onwards, which will boost our oxygen supply system. In addition, we have purchased liquid oxygen cylinders for the treatment of non-O2 supply bed patients,” Dr Muralikrishna Reddy, Deputy Superintendent of GGH, told TNIE.
The maximum bed capacity of the Ongole GGH is 1,126 and 979 beds were filled so far. Around 95 positive patients are on ventilators. A total of 80 recovered patients were discharged on Sunday.
“With the spike in Covid-19 cases, the oxygen consumption has increased manifold and on an average, we need around 15 KL oxygen supplies per day as we have oxygen needed positive patients both in oxygen general beds as well as on ventilators,” Dr Reddy explained.