J&K likely to run out of ICU beds, ventilators by June end: Union govt study


Srinagar: In a grim assessment, a union government study has projected that ICU beds and ventilators in Jammu & Kashmir will run out by June end, factoring in the current rate of increase of Covid-19 positive patients.

According to the study, shared with the respective states and UTs by the union government on June 11, besides J&K; Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are also on the verge of exhausting their critical health infrastructure.

Officials in J&K administration privy to the development confirmed to Ziraat Times that the union government assessment had been shared with the administration here.

According to the official, this assessment is based on J&K government’s data provided to the union government about the total ICU beds and ventilators available in J&K, the rate of daily hospitalizations, the daily increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the recovery rate.

As per the study, Jammu & Kashmir will run out of ICU beds by June 26, 2020; while the date projected for UP is by lst August. Haryana will run out of ICU beds by 4th July.

Alarmingly, Delhi is assessed to have run out of ICU beds by 3 June, and is likely to fall short of ventilators by 12 June.

“This is quite alarming for many reasons. One that J&K will run out of the life saving infrastructure earlier than many other states. Two, J&K’s neighbouring states are also likely to experience the same situation sooner or later”, said a senior doctor studying the daily hospitalization trends at SKIMS, Srinagar.

According to the central government study, J&K may exhaust its available ventilators by 29 June, while Haryana will run out of its ventilators by 4 July.

Corroborating these findings, meanwhile, a report in ThePrint said that the data made available in the assessment study suggests that Maharashtra currently has 8,045 ICU beds and 2,847 ventilators, while Delhi has 582 ICU beds and 468 ventilators.

Sources in J&K administration, meanwhile, told Ziraat Times that several suggestions made during various official review exercises by certain administration officials and medical professionals about increasing the capacity of ICU beds and ventilators were not heeded.

“The fundamental purpose of the lockdown of the last two months was to delay the virus transmission and buy time to strengthen our basic healthcare infrastructure”, an official said, adding, “several officials have been suggesting immediate purchase of ventilators, ICU beds and other life-saving equipment, but decisive actions at the policy level have been largely missing on this”.

Observers believe that while significant efforts and resources have indeed been put in at J&K administration’s level to contain the Covid19 spread and in saving lives, not much has been done in bolstering the basic life-saving equipment during this period.

“It is like the demon knocking at the door. The window of opportunity is almost closed now. If this central government assessment is anything to go by, we must still try to use the coming 2-3 weeks in procuring ventilators and creating additional ICU bed and general bed facilities, wherever possible”, observed a senior doctor at CD Hospital, Srinagar, involved in referrals of Covid19 patients.

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