Sindhuri stressed that hospitalisation is necessary only for severely sick COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulties
Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru Rohini Sindhuri on Monday said there is no shortage of oxygenated hospital beds in the district, but appealed to the mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients not to occupy the beds in hospitals out of anxiety.
In a Facebook Live programme, Ms. Sindhuri said the second wave of COVID-19, which started in the second week of April, had resulted in the district reporting around 700 to 800 cases every day against the less than 100 cases that were reported during March this year. “The surge has been steep and sudden,” she remarked.
Expressing concern over mildly symptomatic patients occupying hospital beds out of anxiety, Ms. Sindhuri said hospitalisation is necessary only for severely sick COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulties. “In 90 to 95% of cases, patients will recover with home isolation and treatment. Essential drugs will be prescribed and are available in the market,” she said, while adding that the patients should go to the hospital only if their oxygen saturation level dips below 94.
If hospitals beds are blocked by mildly symptomatic patients, the severely sick patients with breathing difficulties will be denied hospitalisation and necessary medication, she bemoaned. She cited the examples of young COVID-19 patients admitted to the COVID-19 Care Centre at KSOU Academic Building in Mandakalli, that can accommodate 650 patients on general beds, seeking oxygenated beds even though their oxygen saturation level was 99.
As per a death audit in the district, Ms. Sindhuri said about 80 to 85% of the dead were patients above 60 with co-morbidities. However, there have also been instances of younger people dying, she added.
The district had about 7,000 hospital beds including 3,000 in the private sector. The 200-bed trauma care centre started three days ago had about 60 patients, besides there were 150 beds available in K.R. Hospital. The district administration has requested the State government for an additional 700 oxygenated beds, expected to be made available in about 7 to 10 days, she said.
Super speciality hospital
Already, the district administration had written to the Principal Secretary, Medical Education Department, seeking approval for operationalising a super speciality hospital with 250 beds (oxygen) and 50 oxygen ICU beds in the Stone Building, besides adding another 300 beds – 250 oxygenated beds and 50 oxygen ICU beds – to the existing 200 beds at the Trauma Care Centre, making it a 500-bedded facility.
Also, permission has been sought to start a 100 oxygenated bed facility at PKTB.
Mysuru’s oxygen requirement, which was 12 metric tonnes per day, has now risen to 17 metric tonnes. It has been anticipated that the daily oxygen requirement will go upto 22 to 25 metric tonnes per day in the coming days and the district administration has made arrangements for the same, she said.
However, she said the district was facing a shortage of ICU beds and ventilators and added that the government has been urged to ramp up ventilator facilities for the district.
The district administration has opened a COVID-19 helpline for the district – 0821-2424111. The helpline will be manned by ten persons, who will be available 24×7.