Safdarjung gets 15 ventilators beds, higher ICU capacity as Centre releases aid

Updated: Nov 18,2020 15:54 GMT

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IANS

Tags: National
New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) : The Centre-run Safdarjung hospital has started its fourth dedicated ICU facility after it received 15 ventilator beds from the first batch of medical assistance from the Centre on Wednesday, officials informed IANS. The capacity of the ICU beds with ventilators in the hospital has been enhanced to 90 from earlier 75.

The ventilators have been received after the assurance by Home Minister Amit Shah about the capacity enhancement aid with a meeting held with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on earlier this week.

With Delhi witnessing a fresh spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Centre announced a slew of steps, including making available 300 additional ICU beds, doubling the number of daily PCR tests and house-to-house survey in the national capital.

Doctors said that the assistance would provide a much-needed breather to tertiary care in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic since more and more patients are reaching a critical condition. "With the third surge of infections, we are watching more patients progressing towards severe symptoms of the disease. The rate has more than doubled and left us panting," said Dr Manish, president, Resident Doctors Association (RDA), Safdarjung Hospital.

More healthcare workers are being infected in the hospitals

Manish also said that apart from admissions, more people are coming with the symptoms of the viral disease. "We test around 500-600 patients daily which is a double the spike than we were reporting a few weeks ago. The patients with symptoms are screened at fever clinic and then advised for testing of the virus if found exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19," he added.

Manish also said that the senior doctors have also started to get admitted after contracting the virus with severe symptoms which has left a shortage of healthcare staff in the hospital. Reacting to this, the hospital administration informed IANS that non-clinical staff have been enrolled to tackle the shortfall.

To manage the shortage of staff in such a situation, hospitals have started to enrol non-clinical staff for the patients care.

"We are taking the workforce from biochemistry, physiology and other non-clinical streams and training them for patient care," the official informed.

Meanwhile, the situation is similarly worse for non-COVID patients as well. Doctors told IANS that rising pollution and deepening winters is a toxic concoction for the existing patients of respiratory illnesses have been intensified by 20% at least.

"With the rise in pollution levels and progressing winter, the non-COVID patients, especially with asthma are thronging the premises. We are witnessing more than 20% rise in patients coming with complaints of asthma and pneumonia," an internal medicine specialist from the hospital informed IANS.

As per official estimates, more than 2,000 patients visit the Out-Patient Department of the hospital every day.

Meanwhile, the other government hospitals run by Delhi and municipal corporations have started to gear up to face the impending tsunami of COVID cases. The Hindu Rao Hospital, run by North Delhi Municipal Corporation, has earmarked 20 out of 50 beds for Covid-19 patients in its ICU ward, the officials informed IANS.

Just last month, the hospital was removed from the list of dedicated COVID facility by the Delhi Government after operating for over four months.

Airlift additional doctors and paramedical staff from the Central Armed Police Forces, organise additional medical equipment to tackle severe cases, double the RT-PCR testing capacity, provide 300 dedicated ICU beds are among the key directions given by Shah Sunday to combat the Covid crisis in Delhi, where a surge in cases has placed immense strain on the healthcare system with intensive care facilities filling up fast.

Among other measures to be jointly taken by the Centre and Delhi government jointly, the home minister emphasised that the entire set of containment measures instituted earlier should be reviewed continuously so that there are no gaps in implementation.

Following the meeting, Kejriwal also said that tests will go up from an average of around 60,000 per day to 1-1.25 lakh soon.

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