Hyderabad: Telangana has earmarked 17,081 beds for Covid-19 patients, says the daily health bulletin released by the department of public health and family welfare. Of these, only 976 beds are occupied at present, which means that the occupancy rate is 5 per cent.
Since June 15, when Telangana began testing more, the Covid-19 cases have been on a rise, with over 1,800 new patients being reported in the last five days. Following the surge, the state has decided to make public the number of beds available for Covid-19 patients in the state, along with the daily testing numbers.
In the first week of June, the state government had drawn criticism after 393 asymptomatic Covid-19 patients, below the age of 50 years, were discharged from the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad and sent to home quarantine for lack of beds. Now, with the increased number of beds, the state government hopes to show that it is fully equipped to handle all Covid-19 cases, as it approaches the peak of the pandemic.
In addition to this, the Telangana state government has maintained that it has 10,970 vacant isolation beds in Covid-19 hospitals. There are 3,227 vacant beds with oxygen support, and 1,448 vacant ICU beds in designated Covid-19 hospitals. There are also 460 ventilators beds in the state.
Further, a study conducted by the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) said that the number of hospital beds is 236.62 per lakh population in Telangana, which is higher than the national average of 137.62 per lakh population. It may be noted that in Telangana, the number of private hospital beds (186.93 per lakh population) is much higher than the government hospital beds (49.69 beds per lakh population).
Even in case of number of ICU beds per lakh population, Telangana has 11.83, which is also higher than the national average of 6.88. However, the study highlighted the need for approximately 2,70,000 more ICU beds in the country, over 2.8 times than the estimated number of total available ICU beds in India, in the wake of the increasing Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile, while the state puts forth information that there are sufficient number of beds, the question remains as to whether there are enough healthcare professionals to manage the number of cases.
Now, postgraduate doctors at Osmania General Hospital have boycotted duties asking for deployment of more healthcare staff for Covid-19 treatment. On June 10, the PG doctors at Gandhi Hospital also boycotted duties demanding decentralised admission of Covid-19 patients.
Even after health minister Eatala Rajender announcing that the management of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) symptomatic Covid-19 cases will be decentralised, doctors still complain of burden of cases.