An acute shortage of oxygen-equipped beds that had gripped the district over the past few weeks has eased considerably, Collector V. Vinay Chand said on Wednesday.
“Allotment of beds has been streamlined through the real-time managed 104 portal, and at any given time, there are 100-150 beds with oxygen supply available, including a few ICU beds available under the Collector’s quota,” he said.
The district administration has already taken over 50% of the beds at all the 68 private COVID-notified hospitals and it has 17 government hospitals including 11 CHCs in the rural area under its control.
As of now, over 6,000 beds, including 909 ICU beds, 3,132 oxygenated beds and 1,955 beds without oxygen are under the district collector’s control.
All these beds are under Aarogyasri and no hospital can deny admission, as a team comprising senior officers such as RDO, DMHO and director of Aarogyasri have visited all private hospitals and have taken physical possession of the beds earmarked for Aarogyasri. The data is fed on a real-time basis into the 104 portal and all one has to do is to call 104 and a bed will be allotted, said Mr. Vinay Chand.
Moreover, the district has been seeing an encouraging number of discharges in recent days, which is also a major reason behind the availability of beds.
Agreeing that there were issues with allotment of beds till a week ago, the Collector said the situation improved after the beds began to be integrated with the 104 helpline. “I did not receive any phone calls in the last one week requesting for admission to hospital. This is an indication that things are improving. Apart from 6,000-odd beds under the government’s control, the remaining are open for payment, which again is regulated by officials. Allotment of these beds is also done through the 104 portal,” he said.
He also said that apart from 909 ICU beds and 3,132 beds with oxygen supply, the remaining 1,955 normal beds can be connected with B-type or D-type oxygen cylinders or concentrators.
“The district administration will be adding 500 beds at the makeshift hospital being built by Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Right now, 50 beds are ready and by mid-June, the remaining 450 will be ready. All the beds will be connected to gaseous oxygen from the plant and VSP will also provide medicinal support. The district administration will provide manpower. We will use the services of medical students as the government has already approved the use of house surgeons,” the Collector said.
This apart, 300 beds at KGH, in the Bhavanagar and Rajendra Prasad wards, have been taken over for COVID treatment and they have started functioning, in addition to the existing CSR block.
Forty beds at RCD and 90 at the Psychiatry Hospital have been readied and will add to the bed strength in the next couple of days. We are also increasing the bed strength at VIMS from 400 to 500, and by a week’s time, the bed strength will go up from 6,016 to at least 6,600.
Mr. Vinay Chand also informed The Hindu that two air-conditioned German hangars having 75 beds each with a few attached to oxygen and ICU units at KGH, will start functioning in a week’s time. These will act as emergency or triage centres.
Recoveries outnumber new cases
As many as 2,014 persons undergoing treatment for COVID-19 have recovered in the last 24 hours, as of Wednesday morning, while 1,800 new cases were reported during the same period, in the district.
With the new cases, the total caseload of the district increased to 1,32,496 by Wednesday.
The death toll also climbed to 863 as eight more persons succumbed to the virus. The total number of deaths reported this month stands at 252.
The total number of recoveries increased to 1,12,705. Nearly 17,000 people affected by COVID-19 have recovered since May 18. In the last two to three days, the number of active cases have been on a marginal decline. The number of active cases stood at 18,928.