Hospitals in Nepal lack ICU beds and ventilators as COVID-19 cases spike

How govt making preparations to tackle it?


April 24, 2021


Hospitals in Nepal lack ICU beds and ventilators as COVID-19 cases spike

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KATHMANDU: With South Asia turning into a hub of coronavirus, the hospitals in Nepal have also started running out of beds and ventilators due to rising cases of COVID-19, of late.

While the news being aired that hospitals in the southern neighbor India are finding it hard to treat coronavirus patients, Nepali hospitals are also facing the same situation with the surge of coronavirus cases.

Hospitals in Rupandehi have reported that the intensive care unit (ICU) has been full of patients.

All the 15 beds at COVID Special Hospital based in Butwal have been occupied following the spike in the coronavirus pandemic.  The hospital has started referring cases to other hospitals owing to the lack of hospital beds and ventilators.

Relatives have been facing difficulties to admit their kin affected with COVID-19 at the Province level COVID-19 hospitals, informed Dr Sudarshan Thapa of Lumbini Provincial Hospital, Butwal.

When asked about how the government is making preparations to tacke the surge of COVID-19, chief of Basic Health and Emergency Health Service at the Curative Service Division under the Department of Health Services Dr Prakash Budhathoki said the government is planning to add additional beds and oxygen tanks and provide training to medical staffers.

“The stock of the oxygen will suffice only for two months and the government is procuring additional oxygen tanks for four months,” said Budhathoki.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Population has talked to the oxygen manufacturing company to this effect. Budhathoki said the Health Ministry is making preparations to procure 2,000 cylinders of oxygen in view of the increasing cases of COVID-19.

Currently, the government is providing virtual training to 300 nurses, 200 doctors and 500 health-workers.

Similarly, the Health Ministry is preparing Ayurveda Investigation Center, Kirtipur, Manamohan Hospital, Duwakot Isolation Center and Karipati Center as isolation centers.
Besides, it is preparing to add 2,000 high-dependecny beds, 5,000 ICU beds and 1,000 ventilators.

Nepal recorded a total of 2,559 new cases of coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, taking the caseload to 294,601.

Currently, 14, 724 coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals and isolation centers across the country. Meanwhile, 276, 775 people have recovered from the virus.

Similarly, the ministry shared that five more fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,122.