COVID patients wait hours for admission as govt hospitals full

As more and more people are testing positive for coronavirus in the city, field-level officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation are in a fix as COVID-19 beds in government hospitals have almost filled up, leaving patients waiting for hours before being allotted a bed.
Patients wait inside ambulances outside KMCH.
Patients wait inside ambulances outside KMCH.


“COVID-19 wards in all three major government hospitals - Stanley Government Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Omandurar Government Multi-Speciality Hospital are full. There were only a few beds left in Kilpauk Government College Hospital (KMCH) on Sunday,” a field-level official attached to a North Chennai Region zone, said.
Recently, the official had taken positive patients in ambulances to each of the three major hospitals only to be asked to take them elsewhere.
“As only KMCH had beds, ambulances across the city brought positive persons here. Due to the increasing number of new positive patients, we were made to wait several hours before getting admission. How long could we wait? We are not guided properly by our seniors either,” the official said.
As a majority of these patients are asymptomatic, the other problem officials face is that while waiting, they get restless and start roaming inside hospital premises, thus increasing risk of infection. “Some even insist on purchasing water from outside,” a health care official said. According to Health Department sources, Stanley, RGGGH and Kilpauk have 400 beds each for COVID-19 patients, while Omandurar Government Multi-Speciality Hospital has 500 beds.
Considering the increasing number of cases, the Corporation has prepared 4,000 beds in 32 COVID care centres to house asymptomatic patients so it could admit vulnerable patients in hospitals. As on Sunday morning, more than 800 patients were moved to the care centres and around 200 were sent to home quarantine.

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