Kolkata: Cases rise, Swasthya Sathi units may be squeezed – Times of India

Kolkata News

Kolkata: The number of Covid patients has been crawling up across private hospitals in Kolkata over the last 8-10 days, leading to fears about a possible beginning of the third wave believed to be due in September-October. It is also leading to a squeeze of Swasthya Sathi units at some hospitals. At least two hospitals have seen their daily Covid admissions rise from one-two to around six a day in a week with several requiring ICU care.
A section of experts felt this could be a slow and silent onset of the third wave that could see a gradual rise in the number of patients over the next month.
Belle Vue Clinic has seen a jump from just two patients last week to 25 on Saturday. “We have 33 Covid beds and will add more once the number of patients touches 30. If the numbers keep rising, then both Swasthya Sathi and non-Covid admissions will have to be reduced,” said CEO P Tondon.
AMRI Hospitals now has 22 Covid patients across its three units. Eight were admitted directly to the ICU. AMRI has around 150 patients admitted under the Swasthya Sathi scheme and their number will have to be slashed once Covid admissions rise, said AMRI CEO Rupak Barua. “We had been forced to reduce Swasthya Sathi admissions during the second wave. If a similar spurt happens, we will be forced to axe Swasthya Sathi berths again,” said Barua. The number of Covid patients at AMRI has doubled in a week and this is the fastest growth since the second wave ebbed.
“Till recently, we would have days with no new admissions, but over the last one week, we had 1-2 every day,” he said. AMRI has 50 beds reserved for Covid patients at its three units which may have to be increased within the next fortnight, felt Barua.
Out of its 40 beds for Covid patients, 26 are now taken up at Peerless Hospital. Six were admitted on Friday. “We have seen a noticeable spurt in the last 10 days. In end-July, it had dropped to just five, after which there’s been a slow rise,” said CEO Sudipta Mitra. Ten are admitted to the ITU in Peerless. Mitra added that Peerless’ 42-bed Swasthya Sathi unit will not be touched immediately. “If numbers cross 100, then we might have to squeeze it,” he said.
RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) has not seen any rise over the last week. “Covid patients admitted have been ranging between 15-17 at any point of time. These numbers have been consistent over the last 3-4 weeks,” said RTIICS zonal head R Venkatesh. RTIICS has an occupancy of 15 in its 45-bed Covid ward. “A non-Covid area has been earmarked as a 65-bed ward for Swasthya Sathi patients. So there is a possibility of a trade-off to the extent of the increased Covid beds depending on the situation,” he said.
Belle Vue internal medicine consultant Rahul Jain said he had four patients admitted under him now. “This is the highest in over a month. But the good news is three of them are moderately ill,” he said.
There will be a slow and gradual spurt in Covid admissions now, said IPGMER professor Diptendra Sarkar.
“We are into the third wave and numbers will rise. But due to vaccination, the disease will now be mild to moderate,” said Sarkar.
There had been a spurt in end-July but now it has stabilized, said Woodlands Hospital managing director Rupali Basu. The hospital now has seven-eight patients. Others, like Medica and Charnock, haven’t seen a spurt yet.
“We have 15 patients now and the rise in number has been negligible so far,” said Medica chairperson Alok Roy.


Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/cases-rise-swasthya-sathi-units-may-be-squeezed/articleshow/85137032.cms