Acting well in advance to ensure that the healthcare system in the capital city does not get overwhelmed by the Omicron-driven third wave, the State government has initiated steps to keep ready its top tertiary care centre, the Gandhi Hospital.

The first move has been the decision to suspend all elective admissions to create vacant beds meant for critical Covid infections. In the last few days, Gandhi Hospital has started receiving critical Covid patients, who already have comorbidities related to heart, kidney, cancer, blood pressure and hypertension. Usually, such critical patients first get admitted to private hospitals in Hyderabad, where they test Covid positive, and are later shifted to Gandhi Hospital in a critical condition. 

Due to their condition, critical care specialists at Gandhi are not getting enough time to revive such patients.

“There have been instances in the last few days where Covid patients with chronic ailments of the heart, kidney etc., were shifted to Gandhi Hospital. It is very difficult to save them because of their very critical condition. The surge in Covid infections during this wave is bound to happen and people must take precautions,” Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Dr M Raja Rao said.

The hospital management has also decided to quickly discharge stable patients who are admitted in the inpatient wards, so that hospital beds with oxygen lines are available for deserving patients. The care-givers at Gandhi Hospital are not entitled to take any leaves and previously sanctioned leaves of employees have also been cancelled.

Gandhi Hospital has nearly 600 beds with oxygen lines and at present, a majority of such beds are occupied by non-Covid patients. In order to ensure such beds are available to critical Covid-19 patients, discharging recovered or stable patients from inpatient wards has become necessary.

In case Covid infections continue to rise and trigger hospitalisations, authorities could also suspend other non-Covid facilities at Gandhi Hospital.

Senior health officials tracking the daily Covid-19 infections said with the surge in Covid-19 infections, there are bound to be instances where patients with co-morbid conditions get infected and saving their lives would be a challenge.

“There is a definite possibility of rise in fatalities, as individuals with pre-existing diseases would test positive. Omicron is far more transmissible and at the moment, it appears that the only way to prevent it is by wearing N95 masks, maintaining physical distancing and avoid gatherings,” senior doctors said.

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