As COVID-19 cases rise, Chhattisgarh to add ICU, oxygen beds

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Raipur, Apr 16 (PTI) Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo on Friday said efforts were on to add more ICU and medical oxygen-equipped beds in the state in view of an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in the last one month.

He said the government is targeting to more than double the number of oxygen beds.

The rising coronavirus cases have fuelled demand for oxygen and ICU beds in Chhattisgarh, one of the worst COVID-19-hit states in the country.

'To tackle the situation, arrangements were being made both in government and private sectors to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients. We have a target to increase the number of oxygen beds to 13,000 from around 6,000 now and work in this direction was underway,' Singh Deo said.

As on March 20, the number of beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients was 2,035 which has been increased to 6,912. Similarly, 1,836 ICU beds and 510 ventilators are now available in private hospitals, up from 477 and 166, respectively, till March 20, he said.

The state government has already asked private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent of their beds for COVID-19 patients.

Out of 5,512 beds in private hospitals of Raipur district, 3,531 are reserved for COVID-19 patients, while 972 out of 1,532 beds are earmarked for them in Durg district and 285 of 355 in Bilaspur, officials said.

Expressing concerns over a shortage of ICU beds, the health minister said, “We have 1,200 ICU beds in both government and private hospitals. A proposal has been sent to the state government to arrange 1,000 more. ' “At present, the state has 800 ventilators and in view of a spike in cases, we have sought more such machines from the Centre,' he added.

The state government, in a letter to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, has sought 285 ventilators at the earliest.

On reports about a shortage of medical-grade oxygen, used in treatment of critical COVID-19 patients, he said, ' We have no dearth of oxygen but there is a shortage of cylinders. Discussion is underway with cylinder manufacturing units to overcome the problem.” Officials said as on April 15, the oxygen production capacity in the state was 386.92 MT on a daily basis, while there is a per day requirement of 110.36 MT of the life-saving gas for providing respiratory support to patients.

Chhattisgarh has been witnessing more than 10,000 coronavirus cases daily since the last ten days. PTI TKP RSY RSY