Covid-19 second wave: Pune authorities struggle to manage more hospital beds as new cases rise by 6000

Pune records more than 6,000 cases for two consecutive days. (IE Image)

After becoming the worst-hit district in Maharashtra by Covid-19 second wave, Pune has witnessed 6,000 fresh cases for the second consecutive day on March 25, Thursday making authorities rush to ramp up health infrastructure.

Pune as a district now has 50,000 active cases. The city added 5, 741 cases on Wednesday. The exponential surge in cases got the Union Health Ministry worries as it called an emergency meeting of all health secretaries and district administration heads and on Saturday to refine strategies that can control the spread of the Covid-19 infection.

More than 85 per cent of beds at all hospitals under the Pune Municipal Corporation allocated for Covid-19 treatment are occupied, reported the IE. Only 270 out of 2,137 allocated beds are were currently vacant and only 125 more beds can get an oxygen supply system. There are a total of 162 beds attached to ventilators and there is a capacity to add another 14 patients.

In Pimpri-Chinchwad, where the conditions are comparatively better, more than 1.375 of the 3,443 beds are vacant. But with the rising number of cases, authorities are worried they will soon run out of patient beds.

PMC additional Municipal Commissioner, Rubal Agarwal said he has asked hospitals to free more beds for Covid patients and maintain the 80:20 rule under the Epidemic Act where a private hospital needs to reserve 80 per cent beds for Covid-19 patients at government-mandated rates. However, the hospitals are facing the problem of immediately discharge other patients under treatment to free the beds. Nevertheless, the experts are working at managing the capacity effectively affirmed Mr Aggarwal.

Another problem that the local authorities managing hospital beds is facing that the number of hospitals giving Covid-19 treatment has reduced to half compared to the peal season last year and resorted to all other kinds of treatment. Some of the hospitals like the Noble hospital, Bharati hospitals do not have the infrastructure to stretch their bed strength further. Moreover, patients from areas outside PMC seeking hospital admission are worsening the matter, said district administration heads and.

At Symbiosis Hospital, 500 Covid-19 beds were earmarked last year but now almost half of them are occupied by non-Covid patients. Although most of them has delayed their surgeries, yet then they the beds are full, said Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO of the hospital.

KEM hospitals has 118 beds allocated for Covid-19 patients with 18 ICU, all of which are currently occupied. Sahyadri Hospital has 222 Covid-19 patients at five of its centres. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, jumbo hospital facilities are being added while in rural areas, Covid care centres will treat the Covid-19 patients there.

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