Hospitals run out of Covid beds in Himachal
With the Covid-19 case count climbing in Himachal Pradesh, hospitals in major districts of the hill state are running out of oxygen-supported and ICU beds.
The two major hospitals in Shimla, Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, are packed to capacity and denying admission to Covid patients.
One such patient, Sain Ram Dhiman, 65, tested positive on May 7 and was in home isolation at Kumarsain but when his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to the government hospital at Khaneri in Rampur only to be referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital. Three days ago, his condition deteriorated and he was referred him to IGMC for further treatment since he required a ventilator. DDU has ventilators but they are not operational since the hospital has only one anaesthetist. IGMC denied him admission. “For three days, I’ve been requesting the IGMC authorities to admit my father in-law but in vain. His condition deteriorated after his oxygen saturation fell to 52. I made several calls and even sought help from the chief minister’s helpline but to no avail. We are at God’s mercy,” said Rajinder Kaul.
Patients in need of critical care are being referred to IGMC from Solan, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.
According to data on the Covid capacity portal, the state has a total capacity of 3,473 beds in its dedicated Covid hospitals (DCHs), dedicated Covid health centres (DCHCs) and dedicated Covid care centres (DCCCs).
On May 17, a total of 2,399 beds were occupied and only 1,074 available across the state. There are 2,409 oxygen beds of which 1,928 are occupied and 481 vacant. The number of ICU beds is 278 of which 241 occupied and only 37 are vacant.
Can’t stretch more: Hospital authorities
“We have 332 beds at IGMC and all of them are occupied. All 32 ventilators are being used,” said IGMC senior medical superintendent Janakraj Pakhretia. “Enhancing bed capacity will not solve the purpose. People have to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he said. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital is a 90-bed facility, but the capacity was augmented to cater to 137 patients. Today, all beds are occupied. “Our hospital is full to capacity, we can’t stretch anymore,” says DDU Hospital medical superintendent Ravinder Mokta.
Shimla chief medical officer Surekha Chopra has suggested taking over the sanatorium that has 40 beds. The government has also taken over the regional Ayurveda hospital in Shimla that is packed to capacity now. The state government has announced that if required it will create more space for patients at the parking space in Tutti Kandi.
Facility at Walker Hospital ready
The Indian Army on Tuesday handed over 60-bed facility at its Walker Hospital in Sanjauli.
Kangra district has 723 beds of which 614 occupied and 109 are available. All 70 ICU beds in the district are occupied. There are 557 beds with oxygen support of which only 47 are available.
Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapati said the authorities are managing in the current capacity as new patients are being admitted against the vacancy occurring on a daily basis after recovered patients are discharged.
He said a 500-bed facility is coming up at Paraur near Palampur that will help ease the situation.