VIJAYAWADA: With experts assessing that the total number of Covid-19 infections in Andhra Pradesh may touch the 40,000-mark in the next two months, the state is all geared up to face the challenge of making available sufficient beds and other medical infrastructure, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said.
In an interaction with TNIE, Bhaskar, explaining the current health infrastructure of the state, said, “At present, over 4,500 beds from all categories are occupied for treatment of coronavirus patients. Equal number of more beds are available.” This apart, 37,869 beds have been dedicated for treatment of symptomatic patients in isolation wards. The state has also procured extra 40,000 beds in advance to meet the expected requirements, he added. “Of the 40,000 beds, nearly 22,000 will have oxygen lines. Around 15,000 beds have already been attached to the oxygen lines, and works on the remaining will be completed in 15 days.”
Bhaskar informed that the state, which currently has 5,365 ICU beds, is currently in the process of procuring more. On the treatment facilities, he said five state-level government hospitals were already treating Covid-19 patients.
“More 126 district-level hospitals, both private and 18 government ones, were identified as they are capable of offering treatment to coronavirus patients. While 106 of them are private, the remaining two are run by trusts (BIRRDS in Tirumala and RDT in Anantapur). Twenty-two of them are already functioning as exclusive Covid hospitals.” Of the 22, 13 government hospitals were turned into Covid-19 special hospitals from regular ones during the first layer of the pandemic.
“Four government and five private hospitals have been added in the layer two, considering the increasing number of cases. As and when required, the remaining hospitals will be operationalised,” he added. Private hospitals empanelled under Aarogyasri scheme have also started treating coronavirus patients. “We have received bills from hospital across the state that are treating coronavirus patients under Aarogyasri. Health officials have been regularly providing necessary equipment, especially related to sample collection, which has helped us in curing people faster,” he added.
Around 400 of the 1,399 ventilators are being used at present. “We have begun the process of procuring 2000 more ventilators as the number of admissions of comorbid patients is increasing,” said Bhaskar. “So far, the condition of the state, in terms of the infrastructure availability for treating Covid-19 patients, is good. We will have to worry if the surge goes beyond 40,000, which is highly unlikely. But we are alert and keeping track o f t h e m i n u t e s t development.”