When contacted to know the about the status of beds, health officials said that of the 550 beds in the Vellore Medical College Hospital, Government Pentland Hospital, ESI hospital and the Gudiyattam GH, only 150 were occupied.
CMC’s 167 bed COVID ward was full resulting in the institution planning to open another 30 bed ward from Tuesday, hospital sources said.
Similarly, the 500-bed Naruvi Hospital has increased the number of beds, which has 61, in COVID ward by adding another 62 beds a week ago. “We now plan to add another 77 beds in a week or 10 days,” said hospital chairman GV Sampath.
While beds can be increased, there is also requirement fo ventilators as this facility is needed for those with breathing issues. “We have 25 ventilators in the ICU and hence we are unable to admit more patients than this number,” Sampath said.
Another problem hospitals face is the shortage of Remdesivir. the injection needed for COVID inpatients. Leading Vellore pharma distributor M Kalaiarasan told DT Next, “we received 24 vials only of the 1,000 we ordered and this was handed over to Naruvi Hospital. We have ordered another 1,000 vials. But we are not sure when the consignment will be delivered as nobody has stock even in Chennai.”
All major hospitals including CMC, Naruvi and Narayani hospital at Sripuram face an acute demand for this drug, he added.
What galled distributors was drug inspectors demanding to know to whom they sold the drug. Drug controllers need to understand that this is a life-saving drug meant for COVID-19 and not a narcotic. Only after we said the vials were sent to private hospitals did they keep quiet due to the feeling that the drug was being hoarded. Strangely enough there is no demand for Favipiravir tablets which were much sought after during the first wave of coronavirus by private doctors, distributors added.