The Covid-19 hospital occupancy in Vadodara on Wednesday surpassed the September-peak of the pandemic witnessed in the city (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

The Covid-19 hospital occupancy in Vadodara on Wednesday surpassed the September-peak of the pandemic witnessed in the city. The figure of 3,687 occupancies for the 6,530 available beds on Wednesday is the highest single occupancy figures since the outbreak of the pandemic in March.

With a rapid jump in the numbers of Covid-19 hospitalisations in Vadodara, the administration restarted the 50-bedded ESI hospital on Wednesday and the Infectious Diseases hospital in Karelibaug has been instructed to prepare for Covid-19 admissions from Thursday, even as the empanelled private medical colleges have been asked to explore options of expansion. The hospital admissions which were at 2,780 on March 20, jumped to 3,687 on Wednesday. The occupancy includes patients with suspected symptoms and those awaiting Covid test results from Vadodara and neighbouring districts, officials said.

Since March 13, when the Covid-19 positive tally for Vadodara stood at 25,311 cases, the city has witnessed a total of 985 positive cases in a span of 20 days. On Wednesday, the city recorded 145 positive cases taking the total case count to 26,296. Of the 985 cases, 739 are from the age group of 11 to 50, with a rapid rise in the numbers among teens.

A doctor from a government-run Covid19 hospital said, “The admissions are mostly of older age groups, who are in need of medical attention due to comorbidities or lack of space to isolate at home. Those with mild symptoms are opting for home isolation.”

From Thursday, the VMC will start a campaign to support all COVID patients in home isolation, Officer on Special Duty Vinod Rao said. A total of 102 teams, comprising two members each, will visit 20 home isolated patients each, per day. The teams will carry pulse oximeters, BP instruments, thermal guns to monitor the vital parameters and a medical kit with all necessary medicines, including antibiotics and steriods recommended for Covid-19 treatment as per protocol.

Additionally, the patients will be followed up telephonically twice In a day. On Wednesday, Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS)-run Gotri medical college had 247 positive cases admitted from Vadodara while SSG hospital had 193 admissions and 171 positive patients were in home isolation. Rao said, “We are watching the numbers of hospital admissions and proportionally also increasing the capacity of available beds. The occupancy of Wednesday as well as the availability of beds (6530) is the highest since March 2020. We have asked the private medical colleges to look into possible expansion to add about 250 more beds in one college. The graph should decline in the next ten days and we will ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines during the upcoming festivals.”

Rao added that although the overall occupancy recorded the highest number, there has been a significant decline in the number of ICU beds.