In many cases, the number of oxygen and ventilator beds listed on the website did not match those reported by hospital authorities.

Unoccupied hospital beds at a COVID hospital in Noida with staff members standing nearby in a group Image for representation/PTI
Coronavirus COVID-19 Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 18:02

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Andhra Pradesh government’s live dashboard for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients contains information about 11,229 oxygen beds in 185 hospitals across the 13 districts in the state. This includes government and private hospitals enlisted under the government’s Aarogyasri health insurance scheme, and also a few other private hospitals not covered by the scheme. TNM tried to verify the accuracy of the details mentioned on the website. While many of the hospitals are not easily accessible through the numbers provided on the dashboard, those that were accessible, mentioned numbers that were considerably different from those mentioned on the dashboard.  

In most cases, when the dashboard showed that oxygen beds or ICU beds were available at a hospital, that was indeed the case. There were, however, discrepancies in the exact number of beds that were available at the time. For instance, for Nandyal district hospital in Kurnool district, the dashboard showed a total of 74 oxygen beds in the hospital, of which 12 were occupied and 62 available on Wednesday afternoon. However, hospital authorities said that there were a total of 50 oxygen beds allocated for COVID-19 patients at the time, of which 12 were occupied and 38 were available. 

At the Government Cancer Hospital in Anantapur district, the dashboard listed a total of 37 ICU beds (36 available), 183 oxygen beds (144 available) and 46 general beds (31 available). Hospital authorities however, told TNM that the ICU beds could not be arranged due to technical issues, and were converted to oxygen beds. As of Wednesday, the hospital had 65 oxygen beds and 46 general beds. While the dashboard shows 183 oxygen beds, hospital authorities said the remaining 118 beds are unavailable due to administrative reasons, and will be made available for COVID-19 patients soon. A total of 74 COVID-19 patients had been admitted as of Wednesday. 

Information related to the major district level hospitals was also incorrect. At the Vijayawada GGH (Government General Hospital), the dashboard showed 59 ICU beds (5 available), 283 oxygen beds (26 available) and 158 general beds (76 available), apart from 81 ventilators. However, according to information provided by Nodal Officer Roop Kant, there are a total of 39 ventilator beds (34 available), 119 oxygen beds (5 available) and 518 general beds (7 available), reflecting much fewer beds available than seen on the dashboard. 

Hospital NameICU Beds [Total (Available)]Oxygen Beds [Total (Available)]General Beds [Total (Available)]
Dashboard infoHospital infoDashboard infoHospital infoDashboard infoHospital info
Nandyal District Hospital, Kurnool0074 (62)50 (38)00
Government Cancer Hospital, Anantapur37 (36)0183 (144)65 (55)46 (31)46 (0)
GGH Anantapur13 (6)27 (0)141 (91)163 (0)13 (12)97 (8)
GGH Vijayawada59 (5)39 (34)*283 (22)119 (5)**158 (76)518 (7)
*Ventilator beds
**ICU beds with oxygen

At GGH Anantapur, the dashboard shows 91 oxygen beds available; hospital authorities said that while all oxygen beds were occupied, more beds were being diverted towards COVID-19 patients from other wards as more patients turned up. 

These constantly changing numbers are not reflected on the dashboard, which does not say when it was last updated, like the websites of Tamil Nadu and Telangana do. Many hospital staff members said that updates on the number of beds are sent from the hospital’s COVID-19 desk to the COVID command and control centre three to four times a day. However, in some cases, the numbers on Wednesday reflected the status on Tuesday, in spite of the update being sent, according to the hospital’s COVID-19 helpline staff. 

Verifying availability of beds is also not simple, as many of the hospital contact details on the dashboard are either invalid or irrelevant numbers, belonging to retired superintendents of the hospital in a couple of cases. In the case of many private hospitals, the numbers connected to staff members who weren’t aware of the beds’ status. 

As of Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh had recorded 53,889 active COVID-19 cases. A total of 8,987 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, and 35 COVID-19 deaths were registered, taking the total official death toll in the state to 7,472. According to the CoWin dashboard, as of Wednesday, a total of 49,55,845 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the state, of 7,06,258 were second doses. 

Read:  

Awareness about vaccine second dose poor among rural beneficiaries

Rush at oxygen refilling plants in Hyderabad as COVID-19 patients get treated at home

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