As Covid-19 cases surge, Pune municipal area runs out of ICU beds with ventilators


As Covid-19 cases continue to surge, hospitals in the Pune Municipal Corporation areas have run out of ICU beds with ventilators once again. On Thursday morning, only five ICU beds were available in the city, and none with a ventilator.

The situation in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area is no different. Hospitals here have only three ventilator-equipped ICU beds available, although the district dashboard on hospitals showed eight are vacant.

The shortage of hospital beds, ICUs and ventilators is hardly surprising as the number of active cases in the city went past the 90,000-mark last evening. The district detected another 11,000 fresh infections on Thursday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to more than 6 lakh.

Hospitals in the Pune Municipal Corporation areas have a total of 549 ICU beds with a ventilator facility. In the district, there were over a 1,000 such beds, and only 63 were available on Thursday morning.

The number of beds available in Pune as of April 8 morning.

PCMC health chief, Dr Anil Roy, said there were 477 beds without ventilators in intensive care units in various hospitals, of which about 250 were vacant on Thursday morning. “As many as 229 beds with ventilators are available in ICUs of PCMC and private hospitals. Of these, only three ventilators are available. Serious patients require ventilator support and there is a growing demand for them,” Roy added.

He, however, said the problem will be solved to some extent in the next couple of days as PCMC is roping in 18 more private hospitals for Covid treatment. “Around 25 private hospitals had applied for permission to treat Covid patients. So far, 18 have been given the nod. We are expecting at least 15-20 more ventilators in ICUs in the next couple of days,” he added.

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Dr Roy said PCMC runs five hospitals — YCMH, Bhosari, Jijamata, Auto Cluster and Jumbo hospital — and none have ventilators. “In the 816-bed jumbo hospital at Nehrunagar, only 400 beds were initially made available. However, we have now got the nod to make the entire hospital operational and we expect to add a few ventilators too,” he added.

Pune district also reported 62 deaths on Thursday, pushing the toll up to 10,402.

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