Kerala

Steps in place to meet any exigency: Veena

The government has made adequate preparations much ahead to meet any exigency that might arise during the third wave by augmenting hospital infrastructure, including ICU, ventilator, oxygen beds, and there is no situation in the State wherein hospitals are running short of beds, Health Minister Veena George said here on Monday.

Shortage of human resources in hospitals is a reality as a large number of healthcare workers have been falling sick due to COVID-19 and the government has now given directions to all hospitals to recruit personnel wherever required to tide over the current situation, she told mediapersons here.

Every hospital has been asked to assess their human resources requirement and prepare a proper plan for optimising staff deployment whenever a set of people fall sick and become indisposed.

She termed reports in certain sections of the media about hospital beds, ICUs and ventilators filling up as “false and baseless” and appealed that unnecessary panic is not created amongst the public.

Of the total 3,107 ICU beds in government hospitals, only 43.3% is occupied by both COVID and non-COVID patients. Of the ventilators also, only 13.1% are currently occupied.

Ms. George reeled off the ICU/ventilator occupancy figures in major hospitals to explain that adequate beds are available. In Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, of the total 206 ICU beds (40 for COVID), only 20 were currently occupied by COVID patients.

As COVID ICU beds get filled up, more beds will be re-allocated from the non-COVID section. This can be done without letting the non-COVID care suffer because this time, plenty of beds have been set aside for non-COVID patients, she said.

Ernakulam MCH has 50 ICU beds, of which only 10 are occupied by COVID patients; of the 256 ICU beds in Kozhikode, only 14 are occupied by COVID patients and in Thrissur, of the 120 ICU beds, only seven have COVID patients.

Ventilator use has been low so far and of the 40 ventilators in Thiruvananthapuram MCH, only two have COVID patients, while of the 52 ventilators in Kozhikode, only four are utilised by COVID patients.

The third wave is likely to hit the peak fast because of the high transmissibility of the virus variant in circulation and the waning of the peak is also likely to be quite fast. Though the daily case graph has been hovering around 45-46,000 cases, the graph is likely to go up further as intense disease transmission is happening now, Ms. George said.


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Printable version | May 28, 2022 10:33:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/steps-in-place-to-meet-any-exigency-veena/article38319966.ece