About 29% of the total beds in government facilities in Ernakulam is being used for treatment of patients under the non-COVID category, according to official estimates.
Even though the total number of beds is about 4,000, only 2,500 are classified as functional beds. Of this, 1,100 beds have been earmarked for COVID treatment and the remaining for non-COVID treatment.
“Unlike the second wave when the majority of the facilities were used for COVID treatment, the third wave is witnessing a scenario in which people are turning up for treatment for non-COVID issues,” said Dr V. Jayasree, District Medical Officer (DMO).
“The services for non-COVID cases are in full swing at government facilities that include surgeries and treatment for various ailments. There has been an increase in non-COVID cases after the outbreak of the third wave,” she said.
There was demand from various quarters to convert the Government General Hospital as a COVID facility amidst the surge in cases in the third wave. But the health wing reminded the authorities that it would have a considerable impact on the treatment of non-COVID cases.
Among the COVID cases in the district, around 64% of the ICU beds are currently occupied while the corresponding figure of oxygen beds is nearly 30%. However, the authorities pointed out that the 64% occupancy in the ICU category need not be termed as a serious situation considering the fact that the total number of beds in this section was around 60 at the taluk hospital in Aluva and 14 in Government Medical College, Ernakulam.
The District health wing is under severe manpower shortage, especially after several doctors and healthcare staff were infected in the third wave. As per official records, 464 staff members were tested positive. The pandemic also took a toll on the staff in Government General Hospital after 77 persons got infected. “Despite the hurdles, we have been trying our best to manage the system in tune with the demands of the current situation,” said Dr. Jayasree. The Hindu