Hyderabad: After a brief lull, Gandhi Hospital has once again started receiving a large number of critical Covid-19 cases from across the State. The average one-day inpatient admissions were close to 80 critical Covid-19 patients on Thursday, with the numbers expected to go up in the coming days.
During the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasis is on admitting only critically ill Covid patients at Gandhi Hospital while providing healthcare services to non-critical Covid positive patients at the district level.
However, the fact remains that 5 per cent of all Covid infections need critical care, which itself translates to a big number. If Covid infections continue to rise at the present rate, the hospital might soon have to do away with non-Covid services and once again, turn into a Covid-only facility, doctors pointed out.
“At present, we have 230 critically ill Covid positive patients at Gandhi Hospital. In the last few days, we have observed that inpatient admissions of Covid infections are rising. So far, despite difficulties, we have managed to continue with non-Covid services,” Gandhi Hospital Superintendent, Dr M Raja Rao said.
The surge in cases could force authorities into converting non-Covid beds into Covid ICU beds at Gandhi Hospital. Operating Covid and non-Covid services under one roof creates administrative and clinical challenges, which senior hospital authorities say they have managed well so far.
“We have 300 ICU beds and another 200 beds with oxygen support exclusively for critical Covid patients while the rest of beds have been set aside for non-Covid services. Overall, out of 1,890 beds at Gandhi Hospital, 1,390 beds are available for non-Covid facilities,” Dr Rao said.
Stating that containment of the second wave would depend on the behaviour of the public, he said, “We could still fight the second wave if people start taking Covid appropriate behaviour seriously”.
“Avoid going to mass gatherings, religious places, theatres, and malls and start wearing masks whenever you venture out. Last year, for many months, the public followed these measures but suddenly they gave up, which has gone a long way in the rise of infections,” he said.
Health workers demand quarantine leaves
Healthcare workers at various government hospitals on Friday urged the State government to reintroduce the concept of quarantine leaves, which was the practice during the pandemic last year.
Last year, doctors and other caregivers used to work for a week and take the next week off to reduce stress and chances of Covid infections. However, as the infections dipped, authorities rolled back the concept of quarantine leaves.
Now, with the second wave, healthcare workers say they are already under stress. Despite a large number of them getting vaccinated in Telangana, there is always a risk involved while dealing with critically ill Covid patients. Keeping these things in mind, they have urged the government to restart the concept of quarantine leaves.
Senior health authorities, however, point out that present guidelines do not allow for quarantine leaves. “Last year, when Covid-19 was novel and unheard of, guidelines were issued by regulatory bodies to provide quarantine leaves. However, now a large number of healthcare workers are vaccinated and there are no such specific instructions from ICMR and MoHFW,” officials said.
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