Tamil Nadu hospitals advised not to take in asymptomatic COVID-19 patients


About 7% of the beds at hospitals occupied so far, says J. Radhakrishnan

Hospitals have been asked to avoid admitting asymptomatic patients to prevent crowding of healthcare facilities. At least 15% of the active COVID-19 cases have been admitted to hospitals, accounting for a bed occupancy of 7% in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said here on Sunday.

Inspecting checkpoints during the lockdown in Chennai, in the presence of Health Minister Ma. Subramanian and Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi and police officials, Dr. Radhakrishnan said 5,872 patients had been admitted to hospitals.

 

To prevent crowding of private hospitals, all civic bodies, including the Greater Chennai Corporation, have taken several initiatives such as increasing the bed capacity at COVID-19 care centres and tele-counselling for patients in home quarantine. “We will take action against private hospitals that admit asymptomatic patients. Such patients should be sent to COVID-19 care centres,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan. Only 1% of cases with co-morbidities and those infected with the Delta variant are in intensive care. At least 6% of patients need oxygen support.

“This wave will not last long unlike the second wave. The increase in cases will register a sharp decline if the residents cooperate. Residents are requested to call 104 to complain about private hospitals. The details of the bed availability and occupancy at hospitals have been prepared for each district,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan.

Chief Minister M. K. Stalin has ordered the launch of a war room to monitor bed occupancy at hospitals. Experts say the infectiousness would be high this time. But more than 85% of the cases pertain to S-gene dropout.

As many as 1.21 lakh beds have been readied in the State. A total of 40,192 active cases were reported on Saturday. Officials have made arrangements for increasing 1,500 oxygen tank capacity, 17,960 oxygen concentrators and 217 oxygen generators.

Mr. Subramanian said the lockdown had been successful because of the cooperation by residents and traders. “Those who are on the way to the airport and the railway station have been allowed. Senior officials, including the Health Secretary and the Corporation Commissioner, have checked the vehicles and found that most motorists were travelling with valid permission,” said Mr. Subramanian. “The Corporation has taken action against persons responsible for violations at 13 marriage functions. Only 100 participants are allowed at marriage gatherings,” said Mr. Subramanian.

Precautionary dose

Mr. Stalin will launch the booster doses for four lakh eligible persons, including frontline workers, healthcare workers and senior citizens aged above 60, at 9 a.m. on Monday. “Eligible residents should not hesitate to get the booster dose,” said Mr. Subramanian. Mr. Bedi said residents should wear masks in households with active cases. “There are nearly 15,000 active cases in Chennai. Most of the new cases are relatives of persons on home isolation. So they should wear a mask at home,” said Mr. Bedi. Over 8,000 persons were being fined every day in Chennai, he added.



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