Covid surge: Centre says ICU bed capacity fast exhausting in Punjab’s red districts

Over 75 pc of infected persons in 8 high-burden districts in Punjab are under home isolation, requiring constant monitoring

Covid surge: Centre says ICU bed capacity fast exhausting in Punjab’s red districts

Tribune file photo

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 11

The central teams visiting Punjab to help the state contain the surge of COVID 19 cases have flagged fast exhausting ICU bed capacity in most of the eight red districts witnessing recent rise in infections.

The team in its report to the Health Ministry said ICU bed occupancy rates in the state ranged from 20 pc in Hoshiarpur and 40 pc in Amritsar to as high as 89 pc in Ludhiana; 80 pc in SAS Nagar, 70.6 pc in SBS Nagar, 63.2 pc in Jalandhar and 44.4 pc in Patiala. Rupnagar data was not available.

Read also: Himachal makes RT-PCR test mandatory for visitors from Punjab, six other high Covid load states

Capacity of isolation beds with oxygen is also shrinking. As of today, the occupancy rate of isolation beds with oxygen occupancy in Punjab is Amritsar 38 pc, Rupnagar 25 pc, Patiala 34.4 pc, Jalandhar 35.6 pc to Hoshiarpur 98 pc, Ludhiana 46 pc; SAS Nagar 69 pc and SBS Nagar 35.2 pc.

In all above districts more than 75 pc infected are under home isolation mandating strict monitoring by state health authorities.

The proportion of COVID positive persons in home isolation in the state are—Amritsar 78.6 pc, Hoshiarpur 77.82 pc, Jalandhar 82.3 pc, Ludhiana 100 pc, Patiala 78 pc, Rupnagar 77.3 pc, SAS Nagar 95 pc, SBS Nagar 88.5 pc.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan flagged the above gaps to Punjab Principal Secretary Health Hussan Lal in a letter on Saturday urging enhanced contact tracing in Patiala and Ludhiana.

“Contact tracing and surveillance efforts in SAS Nagar are being hampered due to shortage of manpower. Low rates of testing have been reported from Patiala. There is no RT-PCR testing laboratory in Rupnagar. This has been addressed urgently,” Bhushan said.

Citing the findings of central teams, Bhushan said there is no dedicated COVID Hospital in SAS Nagar and Rupnagar and

patients are being referred to Chandigarh and other districts.

“The team has reported lack of Covid Care Centre and dedicated Covid Hospital in Rupnagar. Hospital bed occupancy rates in SAS Nagar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana are on the higher side and must be addressed in view of the surge. Teams have also reported issues with procurement of ventilators for proper case management in SBS Nagar and in  Rupnagar, although ventilators are available, these are not being optimally utilised due to shortage of healthcare workforce, particularly doctors and nurses,” health secretary said advising Punjab to hire contractual workers.

He said shortage of healthcare workforce has been reported from Patiala, SAS Nagar and Rupnagar also.

Other findings

Slow pace of vaccination in Patiala and Ludhiana among persons above 45 years (with co-morbidities) and those above 60.

Lack of COVID appropriate behavior in the community

Ventilator occupancy in Punjab

Amritsar 6.5 pc, Hoshiarpur 20 pc, Jalandhar 27.4 pc, Ludhiana 8 pc, Patiala 6.64 pc, SAS Nagar 30 pc, SBS Nagar 8 pc.

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