Tamil Nadu’s Covid bed occupancy on a rise as cases surge

Two weeks’ data show more non-oxygen beds in use compared to oxygenated and ICU beds

Published: 10th January 2022 04:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2022 04:06 AM   |  A+A-

A make-shift Covid-19 ward set up in Chennai on Thursday, Jan 6, 2022

A make-shift Covid-19 ward set up in Chennai on Thursday, Jan 6, 2022. (Photo | EPS, P Jawahar)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  As Covid-19 cases in the state are on a rise fuelled by the Omicron variant, bed occupancy in Covid health centres and Covid designated hospitals have also increased in two weeks. The comparison of bed status on December 26 and Sunday (January 9) showed that more people are occupying non-oxygen beds than oxygen and ICU beds.

While 4.1 per cent of non-oxygen beds in CHC and CDH were occupied on December 26, it has increased to 11.6 per cent on Sunday. During the same period, the state’s active caseload has also gone up four times. While the active cases were 6,629 on December 26, it has increased to 51,335 on Sunday.

The ICU bed occupancy of 4.5 per cent has marginally come down to 4.4 per cent over the same period, while the oxygen bed occupancy of 3.1 per cent has doubled to 6.2 per cent. In Chennai, 35.3 per cent of non-oxygen beds, 12.8 per cent of oxygen beds and 9.3 per cent of ICU beds were occupied as of Sunday. On December 26, the numbers were 8.1 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Chennai has 25,798 active cases as of Sunday.

Meanwhile, TN’s test positivity rate has shot up from 0.6 per cent to 8.6 per cent, and the daily number of positive cases from 610 to 12,895. Chennai and its neighbouring districts Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu have shared 68 per cent of the total number of cases reported on Sunday.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan told TNIE, “We will add 50,000 more beds in Covid care centres (CCC). More beds will be arranged accordingly. We are also focussing more on hospitalisation requirements. Those who really need hospital care only will be admitted based on their clinical and blood parameters.”

Radhakrishnan, on Sunday, told reporters that only 5,872 people — 15 per cent of the active cases in the state — were in hospitals. As of Sunday, the state has 1.21 lakh beds available. The percentage of beds occupied is only 5 per cent. Only one per cent is in ICUs, and 6 per cent are in need of oxygen beds. People with the ‘S’ gene drop have so far not required oxygen support, he added.

The state has 17,960 oxygen concentrators, 217 oxygen generators and 1,700 metric ton oxygen storage capacity tankers, Radhakrishnan said. The health secretary warned private hospitals of action if they admit asymptomatic people who do not require hospital care. He said people can call 104 to register their complaints. Dr. K Kolandaswamy, former Director of Public Health, said, “To ascertain the abnormal biomarkers, and decide the course of treatment, blood tests should be done on people who test positive.”


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