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As Panchkula district runs out of Covid critical care beds, death toll rises

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Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula |

17 September 2020 7:51:38 am


Panchkula case cases, coronavirus panchkula cases, coronavirus panchkula cases, Chandigarh news, city news, Indian ExpressAt a testing center in Panchkula. (Folder)

Severe lack of critical care beds, increasing patient workload, overloaded health care system, lack of oxygen and limited resources have now damaged the Panchkula administration’s response to the raging pandemic which has already claimed 53 lives in the district yet .

The sharp rise in cases, which began in August, has led to an unintentional increase in the number of reported deaths across Panchkula district, including that of a 26-year-old woman, a 34-year-old man and two 14-year-old boys. one year old, giving the authorities a cause for concern.

Struggling to follow the steady and increasing flow of positive patients from all age groups, doctors and authorities have tried to match the pace.

In an effort to prevent deaths and identify cases in the early stages, Panchkula has increased sampling but the strategy has not made a significant change in the number of deaths reported. Sources in the Administration said the growing number of fat deaths is a concern for the district and the state. One of the main problems in death management is the lack of infrastructure and the monopoly of the district’s three private hospitals – Ojas Hospital, Paras Hospital and Alchemist Hospital – on which the lives of the residents are based.

This reliance on private hospitals to prevent deaths and to admit patients in need of critical care has proven to be the biggest hurdle for administration. A senior district administration official, while speaking to The Indian Express and did not want to be identified, revealed that the rise in cases is unstable, but the deaths are definitely giving us concerns. Depending on the three private hospitals for our seriously ill patients it has been the biggest problem.

According to the official, private hospitals have taken asymptomatic patients into their care, which has led to an apparent lack of beds for those seriously ill. Most beds dedicated to seriously symptomatic patients lie in private hospitals. The civil hospital has only 10 such beds. We have had to take strict steps to ensure that private beds are used only by patients who really need them, he said.

In the orders approved by the district administration on September 12 and 14, it was stated that a serious increase is reported in the number of patients who have serious health conditions such as lung infections, etc. It further reads that while asymptomatic cases are being managed in some Covid Care Centers, she has noticed that private hospitals having dedicated Covid facilities (ICU beds and ventilators) are occupied by a number of such patients who do not require intensive care in a certain period of time the private hospitals dedicated to Covid do not comply with the prevailing conditions and can be discharged or referred to the institution / beds upon request.

A committee of doctors for the same was also formed to check on patients admitted to private hospitals for more than seven days, in connection with their continued admission.

In another follow-up order issued Monday, three nodal officials were also appointed to direct and strengthen coordination between the district administration and the management of private hospitals.

Meanwhile, doctors on duty Covid, not wanting to be identified, said that the situation inside is becoming grim.

We are finishing beds at a pace we can not manage. Ensuring a steady supply of oxygen has already become a task. We have never had a strong infrastructure, but all the steps we have taken to improve our conditions have ceased to be sufficient now. We are all just waiting for the peak to come and finish this, said a senior civilian hospital doctor.

The doctor added, We have limited resources. While no deaths were reported in the initial months up to June, we now report deaths daily. The administration may blame it on late reporting by patients, but in fact it is a failure of the administration in raising health institutions. Patients may or may not have healed, but the part where we have not been able to give 100 percent to each of them is what is troubling.

The district had recorded three Covid-related deaths by August 10th. CMO Panchkula Dr Jasjeet Kaur, when asked about the issues, said, Panchkula is proving a lack of ICU beds while critical patients from across the region are receiving treatment at these hospitals. Efforts are being made to add more beds as soon as possible.

Of the 53 deaths reported so far, 50 people had co-morbidities including chronic kidney disease, diabetes, tuberculosis and hypertension.

The district currently has 61 fans along with 81 ICU beds. There are also 1200 extra beds for patients seeking moderate and asymptomatic care.

A team of approximately 110 doctors across the district have been treating the pandemic in Panchkula. Almost every doctor has so far become part of at least five teams as they act as nodal officers, Covid doctors, lead OPD, collect Covid samples, perform operational functions, collect data and update the same on websites, conduct surveys on the ground, attend strategic discussion meetings, assess cases and deaths, and care for patients in isolation at home, in addition to performing their day-to-day tasks of managing chronically ill patients and implementing several central government health schemes.

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