Covid-19: Bihar Hospitals face shortage of beds, patients being turned away

With over 20,000 active cases in the state, ambulances are being asked to return from hospitals owing to inadequate infrastructure


As Covid infections have hit a new peak in the second wave, Bihar has over 20,000 active cases with nearly 8,000 cases in the capital city of Patna. According to a report in The Indian Express, the state’s Health Minister, Mangal Pandey, carried out an inspection at the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital only to find the crumbling healthcare infrastructure including unavailability of adequate hospital beds.

While speaking to the media, Patna All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director, PK Singh said, “We have been increasing beds but it is not enough. It is very difficult to accommodate referred cases”. The IE quoted Udyan Hospital head Dr Ajay Alok saying, “In a matter of last 10 days, there has been a surge of patients. The next month is going to be very challenging.”

The Health Minister has reportedly stated that the government is increasing beds in AIIMS and other government hospitals and has requested the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna to provide extra 50 Covid beds.

Advocate Rakesh Kumar Singh, practicing at the Supreme Court told the IE that people are facing a lot of difficulties in acquiring hospital beds for family members. He also added, “I had admitted my sister at Bhagalpur’s government hospital. We were not at all satisfied with the treatment. Senior doctors would hardly visit patients. Finally, a junior doctor suggested that I take my sister to another hospital. We anyhow got her admitted to AIIMS, Patna and hoping she recovers.”

The Hindu reported that around 70 ambulances carrying Covid patients had to return from various hospitals as they have been filled to capacity. Beds in private hospitals like Ruban, Paras, Ford and Jagdish too are almost full and many are said to be awaiting admissions. “New patients can be admitted only after the existing patients are discharged”, said Dr. Satyajeet Singh at Ruban hospital to The Hindu.

According to some news reports, Government hospitals in Patna have a total of 359 beds, while private hospitals have 832 beds assigned for Covid patients which is inadequate because as many as 18,466 people in the State have tested positive in the last seven days and over 50 have died. An administrative manager of a city hospital also added, “We have had to turn away several patients as no beds are available. We feel sorry for them, but are helpless,” reported The Hindu.

As reported by The Hindustan Times, Bihar’s death toll has risen to 1,651 after 21 people succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours. The total tally stands at 2,95,171 cases with Patna, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Muzaffarpur being the worst affected.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi received their vaccines on April 15 in Patna and the Chief Minister has also urged people to be inoculated against Covid 19. Newswire services reported that the CM has ensured that his government is monitoring the situation in the State and an all-party meeting has been scheduled on April 17.

Weekend curfew imposed in Delhi

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced a weekend curfew as the National Capital recorded over 17,000 fresh cases. In a video addressed to Delhi residents, he said, “In order to break the chain, we are imposing weekend curfews. But essential services including marriage ceremonies will be allowed. We shall provide curfew passes without harassment. Malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums will remain closed but cinema halls with 30% occupancy is allowed.”

He further said that orders will be available with respect to weekly markets and restaurants will be allowed to deliver without dine-in facilities. He also requested people to follow all Covid guidelines and protocols to tackle the 4th Covid wave in the city.

Owing to the rising cases, the Centre has postponed the Board Exams for Class 12 which were to be held from May 4. “The situation will be reviewed on June 1, 2021 by the Board, and details will be shared subsequently. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations,” stated the official information released to the media. Board Exams for Class X, on the other hand have been cancelled.


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