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Hospital admissions slowly rising in Karnataka amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Unlike in the second wave, the Health Department has this time shifted treatment focus to homes and made triaging facilities available at every zone and in the districts too.

Published: 20th January 2022 04:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2022 04:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Hospital admissions for COVID-19 are surging, with private hospitals facing a bigger burden than government institutions. Health experts have called for better triaging to ensure panic admissions are not taking place.

As per data collated by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, while 2,195 people sought admission on January 14, the number rose to 2,761 in government hospitals alone. In private hospitals, as on January 18, (data available only for that day), a whopping 2,034 people sought admission.

A senior doctor familiar with the latest admission trends informed The New Indian Express that specially elderly people with slight comorbidities are being brought to hospitals for admission out of sheer panic by family members on learning that they are COVID-positive.

The problem, according to him, is that in government hospitals, admissions are happening through triaging, but in private hospitals they cannot deny them admission. This is burdening private hospitals more. "But ICU beds are still not being occupied," he said.

Unlike in the second wave, the Health Department has this time shifted treatment focus to homes and made triaging facilities available at every zone and in the districts too.

Many private hospitals are thus beginning to feel the pressure due to the demand for admissions. Private hospitals and tertiary care private hospitals are seeing many patients rush for admissions out of panic.

State Health Commissioner Dr Randeep D said, "The number of admissions in general wards has gone up.  But percentage-wise, when we compare it with the second wave or to the population getting infected, it is way less. We are instructing DHOs in districts to ensure better triaging and reducing panic admissions to hospitals."

On January 18 alone, when a whopping 41,457 cases were reported, hospital admissions were 4,795, of which 2,034 were in private hospitals alone.

The requirement for oxygen/HDU beds have increased from 538 on January 14 to 871 on January 18. Also, the need for ICU ventilator beds have gone up from 35 on January 14 to 100 in government hospitals on January 18.

Meanwhile, experts, including Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson, South African Medical Association, who was first to identify the Omicron variant in South Africa, and renowned microbiologist Dr Gagandeep Kang of CMC Vellore, have advised the state government to collect data of these patients to assess sickness severity.

"Do not look at your positivity rate or your daily cases. Look at how many people are admitted in the ICUs and what are your death rates for patients admitted specifically for Covid-19. Collect data on the severity of illness amongst those hospitalised and also if they are vaccinated, and, if yes, with which vaccine," Dr Coetzee told TNIE in a recent interview.



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