The hospital admissions have fallen by more than 70 per cent, as patients, too, are hesitant to go to hospitals for fear of catching the infection.
Though outpatient services are functioning as usual, the government hospitals that used to receive 80-100 admissions a day on average are now seeing only 20-30 cases, said doctors.
“Patients are scared of getting infected as most of the COVID-19 cases are being treated at government hospitals,” said a doctor from RGGGH
S Johnson, who underwent a surgery at Government Stanley Medical College Hospital about 15 days ago had to skip his regular checkup due to the risk of infection. “We have no direct contact with the hospital authorities to check if he can visit the hospital or not. We checked with private hospitals, too, but most of them are admitting only emergency cases. The medication is over and we are not sure if we should continue with it or not,” said his brother.
Those with prolonged illness and also the elderly are also finding it difficult to fix appointments at private hospitals, who have declined to take any admissions other than emergency cases. “My 65-year-old father is very sick. But the private hospital in Chetpet refused to admit him. We RGGGH checked with a private hospital in Vadapalani, but even they were not ready to take admission of elderly patients,” said Raghu from Triplicane.
Private hospital managements said they could not take the risk of infections. “We have arranged online video consultations for those who requireit,” said the spokesperson of a private hospital in Adyar. Meanwhile, Health department officials said they have not issued instructions to suspend any medical services at hospitals.