GUWAHATI: Beds for COVID-19 patients, including ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds and medicines, are no problems in the State; nor is life-saving oxygen. The problem, however, lies in blithe disregard to COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in public.
Quoting an ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) report, sources in the State Health Department said that a COVID-19 positive patient can infect around 400 people.
On the availability of beds for COVID-19 patients in the State, sources in the Department said that around 4,000 beds are still vacant in various medical colleges and other hospitals in the State. This time, most of the COVID-19 patients are in home isolation. Around 3,500 COVID-19 patients are in various hospitals, 1,400 of them are in the hospitals in Guwahati. Around 180 of the patients are critical, and they are in ICUs. Forty-five of them are very critical, the sources said.
According to sources in the department, various hospitals in the State have around 3,000 vacant beds with oxygen facilities, 700 general beds and 220 ICU beds.
Apart from these, additional ICU beds – 100 in the GMCH (Gauhati Medical College and Hospital), 60 in the SMCH (Silchar Medical College and Hospital), 35 in Barpeta Medical College and Hospital and 56 in Diphu Medical College and Hospital – are being installed now.
According to sources, this time around the State Health Department adopted home isolation of COVID-19 patients as a policy, unless patients are serious or have comorbidities.
The COVID-19 infrastructure installed in the hospitals of the State last year but closed after the pandemic was over are of great help this year. With minor changes or development, all those infrastructures have been reopened now, the sources said.
Laying stress on wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, sources in the department said that if May could be passed without much damage, the situation would be safe.