Two Covid patients crammed into single beds in viral images from a hospital in Maharashtra’s Nagpur reflect the frightening reality of a crisis of beds as the state fights a massive surge in coronavirus cases.
In visuals from the Nagpur Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH), many beds are seen accommodating two patients instead of one, often lying feet to face, in a packed ward.
Officials say the crunch has worsened because people are flocking to government-run hospitals to avoid the higher cost of treatment at private hospitals. Also doctors are referring the more critical patients to the GMCH. But the hospital’s top medical officer said the two-in-one bed situation has been resolved since the photos were taken.
“As per protocol, only moderate to severe Covid patients and most of the critically-ill being brought from outside the city are being admitted in the hospital,” said Avinash Gawande, Medical Superintendent of the hospital.
“The workload in GMCH is very high. We are increasing beds, but the situation is normal now, there is single patient on a bed,” he claimed.
Nagpur has emerged as a new Covid hotspot with over 3,100 new Covid cases on Monday and 55 deaths. The total number of cases is at 2,21,997.
BJP leader Chandrakant Bawankule alleged that those with Covid were being admitted in the same ward as patients being treated for other illnesses.
“There are no beds in Nagpur, and in this dance of death, the government is sleeping like Kumbhakarna,” said Bawankule, a former state minister.
He said while there were three ministers in the Maharashtra government from Nagpur, none of them were in the city. “There is no planning and these ministers are not bothered. They are busy elsewhere,” he alleged.
Maharashtra is the worst hit state in India amid a surge in virus cases.
As coronavirus cases rise in Mumbai, the city’s civic body is also preparing for a possible shortage of hospital beds and has drawn up a plan to add and reserve more beds for Covid patients. At private hospitals, all ICU beds and 80 per cent of all Covid beds will be reserved for centralised allotment to patients through the civic body’s “Ward War Rooms”.