SKIMS exhaust bed capacity

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 3: Shortage of beds and oxygen ports was today felt at SKIMS, Soura amid a surge in positive cases across Kashmir with a majority of them being termed as sick.
The SKIMS is, as of now, operating beyond the set bed capacity kept for the COVID-19 patients.
Excelsior has learned that the hospital has reached a point of saturation where there is a shortage of beds and oxygen ports.
There were already a limited number of beds and oxygen ports which remain utilized and that COVID-19 patients who are being referred to SKIMS are being kept in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) block of the hospital until there is a bed available for the patient.
It was also learned that there is a mixing of COVID-19 cases with non-COVID-19 patients, thus, implying that there are maximum chances of non-COVID-19 patients catching the infection from the Accident and Emergency block of the hospital.
Medical Superintendent, SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan told Excelsior that there is a total strength of 260 beds for COVID-19 at the hospital, out of which 269 (9 beds more) remain occupied.
Further, out of 269 beds that are occupied, more than 200 patients occupying these beds are sick and are in a need of high flow oxygen. And out of 269 beds, 180 beds come with oxygen ports, while the rest are being managed by the oxygen cylinders.
And in the meantime, in violation of protocol issued by Government, the Health Department in district Ganderbal continues to lift the COVID-19 +ve cases from their respective residences and put them in the facilities set up by the administration.
Even after being asymptomatic with a mild cough, those positive for COVID-19 have been taken to different facilities in the district where they have to live amid unhygienic conditions.
A few people who have been put up in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ganderbal told Excelsior over the phone that they had asked the health officers to allow them to stay in home isolation. However, their request was turned down and they were kept at a 40-bedded facility set up by the district administration.
“We have our family of five members here, my son, his wife and two kids and I. We are all asymptomatic with a mild cough, we had told them that we have got a room back home and could stay there, but they did not agree,” a patient who is COVID-19 positive told Excelsior.
He said that while they were brought here, the place is dirtier and any healthy person can get infected easily.
“The rooms are not clean, they appear not have been cleaned since the place was used for this purpose. There are no fans, no nothing,” he said.
He added that while the elders are having mild cough, the kids who are with them are perfectly fine. “We are putting their lives in danger by staying here,” he said.
Another patient, who was earlier running a fever, but is doing fine now apart from having mild cough also rued the non-availability of facilities. “It seems that the place was never cleaned, people came and went back,” said the patient who is in his late thirties.
It is pertinent to mention here that an order issued by the Government, while referring to asymptomatic COVID-19 +ve patients had stated: “All such patients shall be permitted for home quarantine provided they have a separate room available in their home; have downloaded Aarogya Setu application on their phones; besides such patients will be provided with Oximeter…”
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Ganderbal could not be reached for his comments on the issue.


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