BENGALURU: With the number of cases increasing every day and people frantically searching for beds, data available with BBMP’s Covid-19 Hospital Bed Status (CHBS) shows that only one ICU ventilator bed and no ICU beds are available at government hospitals in the city. Among the government medical colleges including Victoria Hospital, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospitals, Charaka Super Speciality Hospital, and Govt HSIS Gosha Hospital, only two beds in each category are available, that too, both at Gosha Hospital. Others have neither.
“The situation is alarming. We are seeing at least 15 to 20 people in a critical state every day. They need to be in the ICU, but we cannot accommodate them. We will have to increase the ICU beds,” said a senior doctor from Victoria hospital.Although officials from the State Health Department and doctors at the private hospitals have claimed that the CHBS data is not correct, there are 33 ICU beds and 19 ICU beds with ventilators are available at private hospitals.
“We already non-Covid patients in the wards. Most of them cannot be shifted immediately. We are trying our best to manage the situation,” said Dr Satyanarayana Mysore of Manipal Hospitals.Meanwhile, another senior doctor from a private hospital said, “We have to compile the data of bed availability and put it up on the CHBS. I understand it makes life easier for many people and even confrontations at hospitals can be avoided. But there is no staff to manage all this.”
Meanwhile, Covid warriors are in a state of helplessness and panic as they are receiving at least 100 frantic calls a day demanding beds. Dr C N Manjunath, Director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, and member of Covid 19 Technical Advisory Committee, said, “Number of patients in the ICU is going up. The double mutant may be playing its role and there is also late presentation. Many patients are coming in late, which is leading to deaths.”A majority of the deaths - the highest in the second wave so far - have occurred among patients who suffered from breathlessness, cough, and fever and were found to have been admitted with severe comorbidities.
Senior bioethics researcher Anant Bhan, said, “It is important that the government immediately work towards proper communication. People should know when to actually go to the hospital and when they can manage Covid-19 at home. Not everyone may need hospitalisation, but monitoring of home isolated cases then becomes an important aspect. We must put that in place immediately. Make CCCs (Covid Care Centres) in every ward so that people who cannot afford to stay at home can get treated here. This will prevent mortality.”
Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday had told the media that private hospitals’ bed allotment is not satisfactory. “We are working towards increasing ICU beds in government hospitals too. We will do it soon and ensure people are not in trouble,” he added.