The crisis continues even as Health Minister Eatala Rajendar announced the increase of beds from about 1000 to 10,000 across the state.

Two doctors covered in PPE monitoring health of the patients in a COVID-19 wardImage for representation- File photo/PTI
news Coronavirus Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 14:02

As the healthcare crisis continues due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, government hospitals in Telangana are running short of oxygen and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. In Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad, which has been redesignated as a ‘COVID-19 exclusive’ hospital, a task force has been formed to manage the crisis, with all the beds being occupied. The team monitors the condition of patients admitted in the ICU and those who occupy oxygen beds round-the-clock. If a patient’s health stabilises, as per the newly formulated ‘discharge shifting policy’, they are to be immediately shifted to a regular bed, so that other patients who are in need of critical care can be catered to. The team is headed by residential medical officer Dr Uma Shankar and four other experts.  

Speaking to TNM, Dr Narender, Nodal Officer, Gandhi Hospital said, “Presently, we have approximately 450 ICU beds and 350 single oxygen beds, and most of them are occupied. Hence we introduced this new discharge shifting policy. As per the policy when the patient’s health stabilises, they will be shifted from the casualty ward to the Acute Medical Ward, and from there to single oxygen beds.”

Read: Labs, ambulances, drugs for COVID-19: List of useful numbers in Hyderabad

The hospital has further decided to convert 110 regular beds to those with continuous positive airway pressure, to augment the strength of the ICU, Dr Narender said. “Some 150 ventilators have also been transported to Gandhi Hospital,” he added. 

The District Hospital in Hyderabad’s King Koti also has 100% occupancy in its 300 beds. “Only if some patient gets discharged, we can admit others. Else we are occupied to the full capacity,” said Dr Mallikarjun, the nodal officer of the District Hospital. 

Read: Hyderabad doctors start Telemedicine service for mild COVID-19 patients

Though Osmania General Hospital (OGH), one of the largest hospitals in Telangana, is yet to be converted into a COVID-19 treating facility, they too are witnessing a heavy influx of suspected cases. “Around 100 people are coming in daily with suspected symptoms of COVID-19. As there is a shortage of beds, soon OGH might also be turned into a COVID-19 hospital, and things will get worse because we don’t have enough beds,” said Dr Nagender, Superintendent of OGH. OGH has a total of only around 350 beds, as one of the blocks has remained shut since last year due to poor infrastructure.

With regard to the crisis, Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Tuesday said that the total bed capacity has been increased to 10,000 from 1,000-,1500 across the state. He further said that 3,100 more oxygen beds will be made available, out of which 1,000 will have continuous positive airway pressure and bilevel positive airway pressure, along with ventilators. The minister added that the Gandhi Hospital has 600 ventilators, which is the highest number for a single hospital in the country.

Read: Telangana Health Minister says no shortage of oxygen in state

The Minister also said that the Nacharam ESI hospital has been readied with 350 oxygen beds, and that 200 more oxygen beds have been added in the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital in Hyderabad.

As per the bed availability status report published on Wednesday, the state has a total of 17,375 oxygen beds, out of which 10,494 have been occupied. Similarly, it has 9,406 ICU beds, out of which 5,992 have been occupied. 


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