Covid-19 hospitals in Province 1 overwhelmed with patientsBP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences stops admitting new patients citing lack of beds.
Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, a major health institution in Province 1, has stopped admitting new Covid-19 patients citing a lack of beds.
The institute on Saturday refused to admit two critically ill Covid-19 patients brought from Jhapa and Udayapur districts and referred them to health institutions in Biratnagar, the provincial headquarters.
“All the beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), High Dependency Unit (HDU) and general wards in the Covid-19 hospital are occupied. It is not possible to admit new patients until the already admitted ones are discharged,” said Dr Indra Limbu, the focal person at the institute’s Covid-19 hospital. “It has been difficult to manage beds for the surging number of Covid-19 patients wanting admission at the institute.”
The Covid-19 hospital was set up on the premises of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences last year with 10 ICU beds, 25 HDU beds and 65 general beds. Patients from various parts of Province 1 and Province 2 are referred to the hospital. There are eight ventilators but only six of them are in operation at present.
“Two ventilators and some HDU beds in the Covid-19 hospital need to be repaired. We are unable to repair them as the technicians refuse to enter the Covid-19 ward for maintenance fearing virus infection,” said a doctor preferring anonymity.
Meanwhile, members of the Employees Welfare Committee at the institute padlocked the offices of the vice-chancellor, rector, registrar and director on Friday, asking for their demands to be addressed. The committee has asked the institute to provide risk allowances to frontline workers, release the salary increased in the last fiscal year in lump sum and appoint daily wage employees on a contract basis, among others.
There are six Covid-19 designated hospitals in Province 1. Besides BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Koshi Hospital, Nobel Hospital, Birat Medical College Teaching Hospital, Mechi Hospital and B & C Hospital have been designated as the Covid-19 hospital in the province. These facilities have a total of 140 ICU beds, 84 HDU beds, six Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) beds, three Neonatal Intensive Care Unit beds, 397 beds with oxygen facility and 87 general beds.
However, all the ICU, HDU and PICU beds in these hospitals are fully occupied now.
“There is no alternative but to use hotels and educational institutions as isolation and quarantine facilities. We are working to enhance the institutional capacity of the Covid-19 designated hospitals and set up more isolation and quarantine facilities in the province,” said Social Development Minister of Province 1 Ushakala Rai. She urged the private sector, non-governmental organisations and civil society to work together with the government to combat the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(Deo Narayan Sah in Morang contributed reporting)