Beds vacant even as cases rise in Amritsar, health officials say people reporting late

Amritsar, that registered 7 Covid-19 deaths Wednesday, has so far not witnessed shortage of hospital beds. But this does not mean that the district is keeping the deaths or the rising cases in check. Experts said that the reason behind this was that people were not coming to hospitals until too late.

The district has reported 55 deaths in April, which has taken total tally of deaths to 731 since outbreak of Covid-19.

With 325 fresh positive cases, district now has 3,218 active cases.

Amritsar was among the worst affected district during the first wave and second wave is proving more dangerous.

Health authorities said that one of the reasons behind high number of deaths is that people are still treating patients at home and come to hospital when patients turn serious.

Government Medical College, Amritsar, has maximum 115 ventilators and 87 of these are available for the Covid-19 patients. Military Hospital also have 3 out of total 7 ventilators reserved for Covid-19 situation. The city has 25 private hospitals, which have 279 ventilators, and out of these 176 are reserved for Covid-19.

GMC has 250 beds for Covid-19 patients in Level 2 and 200 for patients in Level 3. Private and military hospitals have 521 beds for Level-2 and 236 beds for Level-3 in district.

Till April 6, only 47 Level-2 beds and 77 Level-3 beds were occupied at GMC. At private hospitals, 245 Level-2 and 100 Level-3 beds are occupied. Total 479 beds in Level-2 and 144 Level-3 beds are still vacant in district.

Level-2 beds are for mild to moderately symptomatic cases and Level-3 is for critical patients needing ICU, ventilator, including pregnant and aged patients.

“Most of the patients are coming when they turn serious. People are still hiding initial symptoms and only report when things are out of hand. Most patients come to us after testing all the tips available on YouTube to cure the Covid-19. It is the reason that we have vacant beds. If numbers keep increasing then there may be shortage of beds in long run. Vaccination is only hope to keep the number of serious cases in control,” said a health official at Government Medical College.

So far around 86,000 people have registered for vaccination and only 2.09% of them are fully vaccinated in district.

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