THIRD WAVE OF COVID-19
GUWAHATI: Going by the Niti Aayog's nationwide warning, Assam will face an acute shortage of hospital beds during the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Nity Aayog head member V.K. Paul has warned that in the upcoming surge of Covid-19, there will 23% hospitalizations. Paul, who is also heading the Covid-19 national task force, has asked the Central government to prepare 2 lakh ICU beds to tackle the third wave.
"If 23% of the total cases need hospitalisation then all the beds in the government hospital across the State would get filled up in just three to four days. Assam had reported nearly 6,000 Covid-19 positive cases daily during the peak of second wave of Covid-19 in May this year.
"On an average, every patient took about 10 days to get discharged from hospitals. Assam will have a tough time in providing hospital beds in case the infection rate in the third wave remains the same as in the second wave-peak period," said a source in the Health department.
Sources said that closure of all the makeshift-hospitals, except the one in Guwahati, will result in a severe shortage of beds during the imminent third wave in September-October. "The State Government will have to reopen the makeshift-hospitals to deal with high load of cases needing hospitalization," pointed out the source.
In six medical colleges & hospitals including GMCH (Gauhati Medical College & Hospital), there are about 2,200 functional beds with oxygen.
"Assam has the capacity to treat around 5,000 Covid patients at a time if we take the district hospitals into account. This also includes ICUs and oxygen-supported beds," said the source. There are about 1,540 full-fledged ICU beds in the State.
The Niti Aayog has suggested that the Central government should ensure by next month the availability of 2 lakh ICU beds, 1.2 ICU beds with ventilators, 7 lakh non-ICU hospital beds (out of them 5 lakh oxygen-enabled) and 10 lakh Covid isolation-care beds.