However, with minimal beds in the city, hospitals are unable to accommodate the patients and they have to run from pillar to post.
The State has a total of 500 ICU beds available on an average every day, but there are more than 17 districts that have less than 10 ICU beds available daily. With more than 3,000 oxygen beds available on an average in the State, Chengalpattu, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Kallakurichi, Kancheepuram and Ranipet do not even have 10.
Aran came from Vellore after his 57-year-old father tested positive. They had to struggle for more than six hours to get a bed in the city. After long waiting hours, they secured a bed at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
Aran is not the only one. Many patients from neighbouring districts are coming to city hospitals in search of oxygen and ICU beds. Government hospitals in the city, including Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Kilpauk Medical College and Stanley Medical College, are seeing patients from neighbouring districts.
“There is a long queue of local patients at our ward throughout the day. With people coming from other districts, bed allocation is even more difficult,” said a senior official from Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
State health department officials say they are looking at increasing the number of beds in the districts as the cases in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu, Vellore and Dharmapuri increase. The director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Dr TS Selvavinayagam said more oxygen and ICU beds are being readied based on the district wise requirements and will be allotted soon.