Chennai

Coronavirus | Government hospitals filling up fast, bed strength to be increased

Kilpauk Medical College Hospital’s burns ward and paediatric unit are still fully functional, say officials.

Kilpauk Medical College Hospital’s burns ward and paediatric unit are still fully functional, say officials.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Chennai is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases over the last one week. On the one hand, the four government hospitals in the city are filling up fast, while on the other, arrangements are on to increase bed strength and simultaneously establish institutional quarantine for stable patients.

In the last five days, 558 persons have tested positive in Chennai. The city has four designated COVID-19 facilities in the government sector — Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), Government Stanley Medical College Hospital, Government Kilpauk Medical College (KMC) Hospital and Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate.

An official of the Health Department said as of now, there was adequate bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in Chennai. “Both RGGGH and Omandurar Hospital have around 150 patients each. Each of these hospitals have a capacity of 500 beds. This means the remaining 350 beds are vacant. KMC has around 200 positive patients. Already, work is under way to create institutional quarantine facilities including at a Er college close to KMC,” he said.

The Government Stanley Medical College Hospital has around 175 patients (as on Friday morning). Authorities said they were gradually increasing the bed strength and will have 400 beds in a week. Officials said KMC was running out of beds and also faced a space crunch as it was catering to a large section of regular patients too.

‘KMC at full capacity’

“The hospital receives about 700 outpatients, and an equal number of in-patients everyday. It is running to its full capacity. The hospital has an exclusive burns ward that has to be functional, and is conducting more deliveries than its usual numbers. Its paediatrics unit is also fully functional,” an official said. In fact, a few days ago, 55 positive patients were admitted to the hospital on a single day.

This is why segregating COVID-19 patients as per their condition, and keeping beds in hospitals for those who require medical attention is crucial, doctors say.

“As per the Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, patients who are asymptomatic, stable, healthy and with no active illness can be shifted to institutional quarantine and kept under the supervision of doctors. We have found that less than 10% of the patients are symptomatic. So, we can safely shift at least 50% of patients to institutional quarantine. This can include persons with no fever and clear chest X-ray or CT scan,” an official explained.

This, he added, would make space for patients in need of hospital care, specialist intervention and intensive care.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 9:27:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/coronavirus-government-hospitals-filling-up-fast-bed-strength-to-be-increased/article31485191.ece

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