CHENNAI/TIRUCHY/COIMBATORE/MADURAI: Amid the exponential growth in the number of Covid cases, only about 20 per cent of the beds are vacant at government tertiary hospitals in Chennai. In Tiruchy, Coimbatore and Madurai, too, hospital beds are fast filling up, prompting officials to make arrangements to handle the influx of patients.
Of the 4,368 beds at Chennai’s RGGGH, Stanley GH, Kilpauk GH, Omandurar GH and King’s Hospital, 3,444 are occupied by patients with Covid or symptoms of the disease, leaving only 924 beds vacant. At the RGGGH, 512 of the 1,618 beds are vacant, while at Stanley GH, only 191 of the 1,200 beds are available. Omandurar has just 72 of its 575 beds available, while the corresponding figures at King’s are 59 out of 525. Of the 450 beds at KMCH, 90 are available.
To avoid crowding, officials of the Health department urged people with mild symptoms not to visit tertiary hospitals. At the Chennai Corporation’s Covid-19 health centres, 1,017 out of 1,750 beds are vacant. These health centres are at tier II hospitals, such as the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet. Corporation officials said these hospitals were set up as stand-by centres for people with moderate symptoms, and have oxygen supply too.
Districts brace for the virus battle, ramp up bed facilities
Of the 11,645 beds at the Covid Care Centres (CCCs), 9,253 are vacant. The civic body is expected to increase the number of beds to 25,000 within the next 10 days. In Tiruchy, the district administration has provided additional beds for Covid patients. At the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH), more than 520 of the 750 beds are occupied.
Of these beds, 350 are equipped with oxygen supply. The MGMGH student nurses hostel was recently converted into a Covid facility, and the district is focusing on increasing the number of CCCs to cater to asymptomatic patients. There are six CCCs in Tiruchy till date, with a total of 1,660 beds. Of them 550, are occupied, said Collector S Divyadharshini. “Currently, two CCCs are active, and the rest were readied in the past week. Two more centres will be active by tomorrow (Sunday).
We are also trying to provide medical facilities at these centres,” she added. In Coimbatore, 636 of the 680 Covid beds at ESI Hospital are occupied, and just two of the 284 beds with oxygen support are vacant. But at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, only 244 of the 865 beds were occupied as of Saturday night. Of the 190 beds with oxygen support, 95 were vacant.
Meanwhile, 826 of the 1,825 beds in government hospitals were vacant. At Covid Care Centres in the district, 1,505 out of 2,630 beds were vacant, while 1,903 patients were accommodated in private hospitals, which have a bed capacity of 3,264. The district administration on Friday said it has kept 7,900 beds ready for new Covid patients. Madurai, meanwhile, has 933 beds, out of the 1,887 in its seven government hospitals, free. The district’s 44 private hospitals have a total of 1,388 beds, and 605 of them are vacant. At the exclusive Covid centres, 416 out of 700 beds are free.
24x7 call centre for oxygen supply issues
The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday set up 24x7 call centres to ensure oxygen supply to hospitals. Healthcare institutions in need of oxygen supply may call 104 for assistance. With the demand for medical oxygen expected to rise, the government has told oxygenmanufacturing industries in the State to “explore methods” to increase production.
Tankers carrying medical oxygen are being provided a ‘green corridor’ facility for quick transportation along with police escort wherever necessary, an official release said. Meanwhile, the Chennai Corporation has urged people to use its screening centres to determine whether they may be in home-quarantine or require admission at a CCC or hospital. “Chennai has 14 screening centres, two in each zone. Once you test positive, the Corporation will contact you to take you to a screening centre,” a corporation official said.
Call centre for oxygen
The State govt has set up 24x7 call centres to ensure oxygen supply to hospitals. Healthcare institutions in need of oxygen supply may call 104 for assistance