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Amid Covid surge, wait for beds in hosps gets longer in Lucknow

LUCKNOW Steep rise in fresh Covid cases has increased the waiting time for beds in city hospitals, which are now planning to take measures to overcome the crisis over the next few days
PUBLISHED ON APR 08, 2021 01:16 AM IST

LUCKNOW Steep rise in fresh Covid cases has increased the waiting time for beds in city hospitals, which are now planning to take measures to overcome the crisis over the next few days.

In March, the average time taken for a Covid patient to be admitted to hospital was one to two hours, after being allotted a hospital by health officials. But with the spike in cases, the allotment and admission is taking 5 to 7 hours. Sometimes, it’s even more, leaving many in the lurch, said attendants of patients.

A 55-year-old woman from Sitapur Road had to wait till 4 in the morning before she could get a bed in a hospital after her Covid sample tested positive at 1am. Despite all efforts by doctors, she could not survive.

“Her sample was taken at 5pm and the report came at 1am. Despite being in isolation, she had to wait for hours in a serious condition. She was admitted and doctors made every effort, but she lost her battle for life,” said a relative.

On Wednesday, Lucknow reported the 1,333 fresh Covid cases, the highest in a day so far while UP logged 6,023 new cases. The state and the city also reported 40 and six Covid deaths, respectively.

As per statistics, the number of ICU beds is insufficient (475 operational beds for 8,852 active cases).

“To reduce mortality, public movement must be curbed immediately. This infection multiplies geometrically, hence 2,000 new cases can come in just two days. With a human-to-human spread pattern of this virus nothing will work other than controlling the movement of the people,” said a senior faculty of a medical institute.

A health official said, ‘The bed capacity in hospitals should have been doubled as the virus is more infectious now. The central government has already conceded that the second wave is infecting more people than the first wave.”

Earlier, the SGPGI had operated 201 beds with an additional 30 in the holding area till the cases had started subsiding. This time, the institute already has 210 beds (nine more than last year) in the main hospital and 40 in the holding area (10 more) where 146 patients are currently admitted. In wake of the Covid surge, PGI officials plan to take the bed strength to 300 in the main hospital over the next 15 days.

Similarly, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences has 200 beds where 130 are high dependency unit (HDU) beds and 20 ICU beds, as per the data on Wednesday morning. The institute is now increasing the numbers. “We are adding beds for Covid facility from today and shortly 150 ICU/HDU beds will be available for patients,” said Dr Srikesh Singh, spokesperson for the institute.

At the King George’s Medical University (KGMU), 293 ICU beds are operational.

“We have 272 patients in the ICU and 36 in isolation at present,” said Dr Sudhir Singh. The total strength of KGMU Covid facility is of 504 beds that it had used for patients during the first wave.

Against a total 3,914 beds (including 2,781 isolation beds, 698 high dependency unit (HDU) beds, and 435 ICU/ventilator) at 32 government and private hospitals in October, the present strength is 2,225 in Lucknow including 1,121 isolation, 629 HDU and 475 ICU beds.

BOX

Med institutes asked to

increase bed strength

LUCKNOW Medical institutes have been asked to increase the number of beds in their Covid wards, including ICU beds with ventilator support.

In a letter, Alok Kumar, principal secretary (medical education), asked all government, private medical colleges, KGMU, SGPGI and other super-speciality institutes to increase bed strength.

“With the surge in Covid cases it is important to enhance facilities for patients. Hence, the institutes/facilities where bed occupancy in Covid facility has been over 60% should expand their facilities to a maximum limit,” stated the letter.

The letter particularly mentions Lucknow, where the case positivity rate is high.

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