TIRUCHY: Tiruchy reported 528 new cases on Saturday, its highest ever. The number of active cases has crossed 3,000. With this, the burden on the hospitals has also increased. While beds are still available at Covid Care Centres, they are filling up fast at private hospitals, especially oxygen beds. Jaya had a tough time finding an oxygen bed for her 70-year-old uncle.
While they were monitoring his oxygen levels at home, it dropped below 95. After a great struggle, they found a bed with oxygen facility at a small hospital. After that, his oxygen level kept dropping and they needed to move to a bigger facility.
“We tried almost every private hospital for almost 24 hours. All of them said their beds were full. Some took our details and said they would call if a bed gets vacant. We finally found a bed for him after 36 hours. We are just hoping for the best,” said Jaya. As per the TN government website, ‘stopcorona.tn’, there are 33 private hospitals in the district, of which, 29 have ICU bed facilities. Of these, 17 show zero availability of ICU beds on the website itself. Of the other 12, most have one or two ICU beds available, but when you call them, they say that no beds are available.
Express called up more than 14 private hospitals in Tiruchy on Saturday to find out the availability of beds. All these hospitals showed some availability on the website. Two hospitals, which showed that more than 20 beds were available, did not respond despite several calls to different numbers. Of the other 12, nine said that no beds were available: oxygen or normal. One said there were beds, but with no oxygen support. Another hospital said there were beds available but they would have to evaluate the condition of the patient before getting admission.
Doctors said that it is a struggle finding beds. They added that the patients’ recovery is taking longer this time. “Finding ventilator beds is a bit of a task this time. I myself had to contact several people to find a bed for a friend. The administration has done a fantastic job with Covid Care Centres this time. Enough and more beds are available for asymptomatic patients. However, for cases with mild to moderate symptoms, it is difficult to find a bed. Last time, people were getting discharged in 6-7 days. This time, it is not the case. People continue to require oxygen support after a week too,” said Dr Mohamed Hakkim, emergency physician.
This has increased the pressure on Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH), which has 684 beds. A senior doctor said that only 21 oxygen-supported beds and only one ventilator bed were currently available at the hospital. “We are getting 40 more ventilators by next week. We are continuously trying to accommodate more people. We get patients from various districts like Karur, Thanjavur, Namakkal, which increases the load,” said a senior doctor at MGMGH.