CHENNAI: Even as the number of COVID-19 cases in Chennai is seeing a sharp rise, government hospitals in the city are fast running out of beds. Authorities have, therefore, started shifting asymptomatic and stable patients to the Corporation’s COVID-care facilities which have been set up at private colleges and Chennai Trade Centre.
Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education and Dean of Omandurar Medical College, said as many as 73 stable patients from Stanley Medical College Hospital were shifted to a COVID-care facility at a city college on Sunday.
“There are 1,750 beds for COVID-19 patients at government hospitals in the city and close to 1,200 beds have been occupied. In the past few days, the hospitals have increased the number of beds by at least 500. As many as 270 beds out of 500 at Omandurar hospital have been occupied and 190 beds out of the 400 at Stanley Hospital have been occupied. We will be shifting only asymptomatic patients who are below 55 years of age with no co-morbid conditions, after conducting a detailed study,’’ he said.
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About 60 per cent stable patients from Omandurar may soon be shifted to ‘care centres’, said DME Narayana Babu. The spurt in Royapuram and Tiru Vi Ka Nagar has overburdened RGGGH. “Of the 366 stable patients at RGGGH, we may shift 100-150,” said dean R Jayanthi. The Corporation has arranged 4,000 beds across the city, including 600 at the Chennai Trade Centre and remaining at private colleges.
“Asymptomatic patients do not need much treatment. So one doctor and adequate number of nurses would be appointed at each of these facilities,” a health official said. “Patients will be observed once a day, and will be discharged 14 days after not showing symptoms.” Nodal official J Radhakrishnan said two tests would be be taken before patients are discharged from care centres. “Further, it would help patients as they will not be kept in a hospital environment.”
Dean of Kilpauk Medical College P Vasanthamani said the hospital has 320 patients at the moment and 40 people are likely to be discharged soon. “Shifting means we have to ensure that all medical equipment, thermometers and PPE are rightly transferred.’’