Ghaziabad’s intensive care beds are almost full while the overall occupancy of Covid-19 beds was around 80%, according to official data released on Thursday.
The district has 38 Covid hospitals, four of which are public. It has 2,909 beds, of which 2,326 are occupied. Only 38 of the 563 beds remained vacant on Thursday night.
“That vacancy is mainly because there is no oxygen for those beds,” said an officer from the health department who did not wish to be named. “It is not like as if there are no people who do not need an ICU bed. They are forced to look for beds in other districts due to the oxygen crisis.”
The state control room records indicate that the district on Thursday witnessed its highest single-day spike of 1023 cases and eight deaths.
The experts said that with rising number of daily cases, there is urgent need for more beds, but regularisation of oxygen supply is a major roadblock in increase of beds.
“The conditions on the ground is a major concern. During present times, we must make optimum use of resources. Beds cannot be increased if regular oxygen supply is not ensured and as a result patients will keep roaming around in search of beds. There are hospitals which cannot use ICU beds because of lack of oxygen supply. So, people occupying beds without any major symptoms should leave it for others,” said Dr VB Jindal, former president of Indian Medical Association (Ghaziabad).
“Administration should gear up and rope in charitable institutions or NGOs for more beds. The cases are expected to rise further, and we expect that they will reach peak by start of mid of May,” he added.
“The trend is headed towards a peak which is higher than the one witnessed last year and some studies indicate that peak will be reach in May. So, we have to wait and watch. Roping in more beds will mean that oxygen supply is to be regularised and it is expected that it is expected to take couple of days as per developments taking place. All precautions are must in present times,” said Dr Lalit Kant, the former epidemiology and communicable diseases head at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey did not respond to calls and detailed query raised to him about the issue of occupancy, new beds and lack of oxygen supply. Shailendra Kumar Singh, additional district magistrate (city) also did not take calls for a response.
“The chief minister held a video conferencing on Thursday evening and directed officials that beds of L2 and L3 category need to be increased besides every hospital must display the availability at their premises. An order will be issued soon. He has also directed that RT-PCR testing also need to be increased,” said an officer from health department who wished not to be named.
The sample positivity rate, number of positive samples per 100 tests, in the district in April till date was 5.71% on Thursday. The district suffered eight deaths due to Covid-19, taking its total death count to 125.
As per state control room records, it took two days each for the total case count to jump from 29000 to 30000, 30000 to 31000 and 31000 to 32000. On Thursday, the district reached an overall tally of 33000 cases in a single day which is fastest achieved since March last year.