VIJAYAWADA: Though AP has crossed hospitalisation of 40,000 Covid-19 cases, the State is fully geared up to provide treatment to all those affected, said Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar, in an interaction with TNIE on Saturday.
“Though coronavirus cases have crossed the expected number, we still have a buffer in terms of infrastructure and medicines. At present, 2,800 ICU beds, 11,353 beds with oxygen support and 12,000 general beds are available. This means, over 25,000 beds (26,153 to be specific) remain unoccupied in government and private hospitals together,” he said.
When asked about just 12,000 general beds being available against the daily surge in cases, which has been over 10,000 for the past three consecutive days, he explained, "Even though more than 10,000 people are testing positive for corona, not all need to be admitted to hospital. Nearly 85 to 90 per cent of them are asymptomatic and can be treated under home isolation or at COVID Care Centres (CCCs). Of the remaining 10 per cent also, only 5 to 7 per cent of people need hospital treatment. Rest are treated at the CCCs. So hospital beds are required only for 5 per cent of patients of each day’s batch."
Now, as per the new guidelines, corona patients, who have recovered and do not have any medical complaint, are being discharged after 10 days of treatment, which again makes beds available faster for new patients, Bhaskar said.
"There are a few instances when the patient insists on a bed allotment in a certain hospital. In such a case, we have to take a few off-the-track efforts for the comfort of the patient. Otherwise, the situation is not at all worrisome now," he said, adding that about 38,000 beds are available in the CCCs and out of which only 18,753 have been occupied so far.
Now, the State government has made the information regarding bed availability public. One who needs to get admitted for Covid-19 treatment, can check the availability of beds at http://dashboard.covid19.ap.gov.in and health.ap.gov.in.
He expressed satisfaction in terms of medicine supply as well. "Generally those under home isolation do not need much medicines. They need medicines which are easily available in the market. For asymptomatic persons, only multivitamin or zinc tablets are required, which are easily available. Those with comorbidities need specific drugs related to their illness. About the supply of medicines prescribed to treat COVID-19, there is no gap between demand and supply. The most important is good nutrition to boost immunity, which is being provided to each patient at the hospital as well as at the CCCs," he said.
He further said that there will be no change in the strategy and the State will continue the ongoing one even if there is a spike in cases. “We are already testing more than required. That is why people are being detected at the asymptomatic stage itself. So there is no need to change the strategy,” he pointed out. When questioned about the delay in getting test results, Bhaskar said such complaints are only 1 per cent of all the samples collected. “It is mainly due to technical glitches,” he said.
Further, with respect to permission for inter-state transport, he said, "We have to normalise transport at some point of time. Migrant workers are returning as they have no work back home. Though a large group has already returned and there is no point in conducting separate tests for them as they may contract the virus after coming here also. We will continue with the random 10 per cent testing method."
"As on today, we are in a comfortable position and have the infrastructure to meet the demand in the coming days. It's just a matter of a few days. Once we are out of the peak time, the numbers will come down gradually. Also 30 recovered patients have already donated their plasma and we have selected a few patients to undergo the treatment. This will definitely help reduce mortality rate as well," Bhaskar signed off.