Pune Municipal Corporation reserves six private hospitals only for Covid patients

The municipal commissioner said private hospitals in the city had cooperated in the past and are doing so now as well.

Struggling to meet the bed requirement for hospitalising critical Covid-19 patients in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to reserve six private hospitals completely for treatment of Covid patients, as well as take over ESI hospital and get 40 beds of Army Hospital.

“The PMC has witnessed a big surge in Covid-19 patients in the last two months. The number of active patients in the city was 1,250 on February 12, which is now over 46,000. The civic administration has been working hard to ensure beds for treatment of needy Covid-19 patients and has increased the bed strength by more than double in the last 15 days,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.

He said the PMC had 3,300 beds on March 21, including 2,200 oxygen and 290 ventilator beds. The bed capacity has been increased to 7,500 beds, including 4,800 oxygen beds and 551 ventilator beds in the city now.

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“The PMC is further trying to increase the number of beds for Covid patients and will have a total of 8,300 beds in one week,” said Kumar.

The municipal commissioner said private hospitals in the city had cooperated in the past and are doing so now as well. “The PMC had issued directives to reserve 80 per cent of total operational beds for treatment of Covid-19 patients in big private hospitals. Now, the civic administration has declared six private hospitals as Covid hospitals…,” Kumar said, adding that ESI Hospital, with 150 beds, would be taken over completely by PMC for treatment of Covid-19 patients while the Army Hospital is also providing 40 ICU beds.

“If need be, more private hospitals would be converted completely for treating only Covid-19 patients,” he said, adding that the civic administration was tracking the bed situation daily.

Of ESI Hospital’s 150 beds, 70 are oxygen beds and 20 ICU beds. The 40 beds of Army Hospital will include 20 ventilator beds and 20 ICU beds.

Kumar said the PMC will have 50 more ventilator beds in next five days, which includes 20 from the Army Hospital and remaining from various civic hospitals and private hospitals.

There are 400 oxygen beds vacant in the city and 350 more oxygen beds will be added in the next few days for Covid-19 patients, said the civic chief.

At present, 6,500 patients are hospitalised with 550 on ventilator and 4,000 on oxygen. The helpline for beds is receiving around 600 calls for beds every day and the PMC is doing everything possible to handle the situation, said Kumar. “The helplines have been increased from one to 10 to enable citizens to contact the civic body faster,” he said when it was pointed out that the helplines are constantly busy.

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