Tribune News Service
Bathinda, August 25
No ICU beds or ventilators are available for COVID-19 patients in Bathinda as critical patients are being referred to the Medical College in Faridkot, located 70 km from here.
Bathinda has recently witnessed a huge spike in cases from 349 to 1,983 and even the deaths have surged from 5 to 24.
As per the COVA mobile app, Bathinda has 500 beds in the COVID care centre out of which 128 are occupied presently and 372 are vacant.
Government hospitals have a total of 135 beds with or without oxygen out of which 45 are occupied and 90 are vacant.
Moreover, no government hospital in the district has an ICU bed with or without a ventilator for COVID-19 patients. Even private hospitals have not offered any ICU beds for COVID patients in the district.
In April, Indian Medical Association's (IMA) Bathinda unit had written a letter to the Civil Surgeon and had provided a list of eight hospitals which will provide ventilators for isolation centres established for COVID patients, but later all of them back out.
Dr Vikas Chhabra, president, IMA Bathinda said: “We have provided the list of eight hospitals who are willing to give its ventilator for COVID-19 patients, but the health department did not proceed further as they don’t have the manpower”.
He said private hospitals are facing problems because their doctors and staff are not willing to treat COVID-19 patients because they also fear for their life. Moreover, there is no incentive for the staff to work such patients, he said. This is the reason that hospitals have told the district administration that some hospitals would treat level 1 or 2 patients, but not level 3 patients.
B Srinivasan, Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda said “Earlier, we did not have any critical patients, but as cases are now rising in Bathinda, we are making arrangements for 15 ventilator beds in private hospitals and by today evening we will provide you with the list. However, presently, we are referring critical patients to the Faridkot”.
A ventilator helps patients who cannot properly breathe on their own by pumping air into their lungs through a tube that has been inserted into their windpipes. Because COVID-19 affects the respiratory system, the number of hospitalized patients in need of breathing assistance has exploded since the pandemic began.
A shortage of breathing machines could mean the difference between life and death for the sickest coronavirus patients.
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