Amid a surge in Covid cases and demand for hospital beds, hospitals in Kolkata are setting up satellite facilities to treat mildly symptomatic patients who do not want to risk infecting their housemates.
With Covid-19 cases in West Bengal rapidly rising over the past two weeks, the demand for hospital beds has increased sharply. While many hospitals have increased their bed capacity, some hospitals are setting up satellite facilities in hotels and guest houses within a two kilometre radius.
Mildly symptomatic Covid patients who do not want to risk infecting their housemates will be treated at these facilities. The patients will be monitored by doctors.
The AMRI Hospitals in Kolkata have taken up 24 beds at Sojourn Hotel which is close to their Salt Lake hospital. They are taking up another hotel in Sector 5 too.
The Dhakuria branch has taken over a 32-bed centre at Hotel Southern Plaza and will be taking over a guest house near Lake Market area. The Mukundapur branch is also taking up a guest house with 32 beds.
These satellite facilities will be equipped with Wi-Fi and other deluxe living amenities. They are being set up in accordance with the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission’s guidelines.
CK Birla Hospitals
Others, including CK Birla Hospitals, are contemplating setting up satellite facilities.
“We are looking to open up satellite facilities in the vicinity. These will be quarantine centres where Covid patients who are recuperating but do not need to be in a ward or an ICU can be taken care of. Our clinical team will be in regular touch with them,” said Dr S Gill, Chief Operating Officer at CK Birla Hospitals.
Dr Gill continued, “In the last 20 days, we have been adding 10-20 beds wherever we can. We expect the numbers to go up. Adding beds is not the solution, we have to man the beds with nurses and doctors.”
He also mentioned that there is an issue with oxygen supply. “We have an oxygen-generating plant at our Jaipur facility which is now only enough for 50 per cent of the requirement. In normal times, it handles all our requirements. We will have to figure out how to handle things beyond our control, be it oxygen or medication,” Dr Gill stated.
Increase beds, says CM Banerjee
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the health minister, held a virtual meeting with private hospitals in the city to discuss measures being taken to treat the rising number of cases.
Rupak Barua, Chief Executive Officer at AMRI Hospitals, said, “We had a fruitful meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on April 20. She spoke to us via video conferencing. She appreciated the role private hospitals are playing in treatment and management of Covid-19 patients. She also acknowledged the difficulties we are facing, given the ground realities.”
Barua, who is also the president of the Association of Hospitals of Eastern India, said that Banerjee had urged hospitals to increase beds and add satellite centres so more patients can be admitted.
On Wednesday, West Bengal reported 10,784 fresh Covid-19 cases and 58 deaths in 24 hours. There are more than 60,000 active cases in the state.