All 350 ICU beds in Telangana’s Gandhi Hospital occupied by COVID-19 patients

The hospital is adding 50 more beds to accommodate patients, and is mulling a further increase.
A doctor in PPE gear standing against the COVID-19 ward door
A doctor in PPE gear standing against the COVID-19 ward door

All the 350 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds were fully occupied on Wednesday by COVID-19 patients in Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad, the state-run apex hospital. The hospital has now added 50 more beds to accommodate the patients by reducing the beds meant for non-COVID patients. Further, they are mulling an increase of an additional 200 COVID-19 beds “depending on the situation,” as the cases continue to rise.

The state is witnessing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases. In the past three days, Gandhi Hospital saw admissions of 60-70 ‘severe’ cases, an uncommon and alarming increase, hospital authorities said.

As per the medical bulletin issued on Wednesday, the state recorded 2,157 cases and eight deaths. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in the state has recorded the highest number of cases at 361, followed by Medchal-Malkajgiri district and Rangareddy at 245 and 206 cases respectively.

Gandhi Hospital, which was previously declared a ‘COVID-19 exclusive’ hospital, is now treating non-COVID cases as well. However, they are only treating “COVID-19 cases with severe infections” referred to by other hospitals, said Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Raja Rao. 

The hospital had previously reserved 350 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, 150 for non-COVID patients, and 200 oxygen beds.   

Speaking to TNM, the Superintendent said, “Presently, we are taking only severe cases. The occupancy is now 350 in ICU, where only the people with severe infections are availing treatment. Today, we increased the bed capacity for COVID-19 cases by 50. And there is a possibility of increasing them further.”

However, the Superintendent assured that there is no shortage of beds to treat COVID-19. The hospital’s total bed capacity is 1500, according to the Superintendent. “We have adequate oxygen as we previously treated only COVID-19 cases.”

Meanwhile, describing the COVID-19 situation in Telangana as ‘severe’, Telangana Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao on Wednesday asked everyone to wear masks even at home.

“From now on, wear a mask even at home. If you return home from outside and remove your mask, there is a possibility of infecting your family members and they could lose their lives,” the Health Director warned.

“If the situation continues like this, our state will also turn into a Maharashtra. Already some people are struggling to find beds. If this rate of infection continues, even if the government makes necessary arrangements, there is a possibility of shortage of beds,” Dr Srinivasa Rao added. 

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