Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, May 2
People in the city are running from pillar to post in search of beds in hospitals for their near and dear ones. As the caseload is increasing, getting a bed in a hospital has become a Herculean task.
On Sunday, almost all level 3 beds were occupied in government and private hospitals. Helpline numbers provided by the district administration are proving little help in this hour of need.
A Rajguru Nagar resident, Zeena Aggarwal, lost her father to Covid today as she was unable to arrange an ICU bed with ventilator. On Thursday, she got her father admitted to a private hospital at South City and on Saturday, she was told by the hospital to shift her father as his oxygen level was dipping and his condition deteriorating.
“I tried every possible hospital but no bed with ventilator was available on Saturday and Sunday. I called up the helpline number of the district administration but instead of sharing with me the status of ventilators available, I was given numbers of various hospitals to enquire about the status. Majority of the numbers given were either busy or went unattended. In this hour of crisis, the family wants verified information and not just phone numbers which we can get from the Internet also,” she said.
Another resident, who was in search of an ICU bed with ventilator, also faced a tough time.
“I checked the website of the district administration and it was showing that a private hospital near Barewal has 10 level 3 beds and all were vacant. Since the hospital is near my house, I went to enquire about it. But no level 3 bed was available there. They had ICU beds with high-flow oxygen but no ventilators,” he said.
Information regarding ventilators should be given separately as level III beds and ICU beds with or without ventilators. “I was assuming that all level III beds had ventilators. People are not aware about this fact and it is better that information about ventilators should be shared separately,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said people could check the status of availability of beds online on the website of the district administration if phone numbers of hospitals are not getting connected. When told that the data available online is updated after 24 hours and many times beds are filled by the time a person checks the status online, the DC said they would try to improve the system so that people were readily given the status about the beds available through phone and online mode.
As the beds in the hospitals were almost occupied on Sunday, the Deputy Commissioner directed all private hospitals on board, to increase the bed capacity to at least 25 per cent by today evening to ensure treatment to all patients.
Assuring hospitals about the availability of oxygen, the Deputy Commissioner said the administration had already ramped up oxygen capacity by nearly 33 per cent (2,900 cylinders daily).
He said earlier Vardhman Steel Plant had been providing 1,500 cylinders of medical oxygen but now, it had increased its capability and filling up around 2,100 cylinders. Weltech Equipment and Infrastructure Limited had also been generating additional oxygen.
He also appealed to people not to put pressure on the health infrastructure of the city by inviting their dear ones from other states otherwise it would overburden local hospitals.
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