In preparation for the predicted third wave, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has asked private hospitals to set aside 10% of their total beds for paediatric Covid-19 patients. The decision comes after the federal and state governments requested that preparations be made for the expected third wave of patients, as well as a probable increase in paediatric patients, in terms of bed and oxygen management.
Dr Ashish Bharti, chief health officer of the PMC, said, “The central and state governments have asked us to prepare keeping in mind the peak of the second wave and the day when the city had maximum active cases in terms of oxygen- and bed- management. As of now, we have 16,000 beds available for Covid-19 which includes private and government (2,500) hospital beds. As of now, the number of Covid-19 patients in private hospitals has gone down and so, we have instructed them to reserve 50% of the beds for Covid-19 in case the number of cases increases again. We have further instructed them to reserve 10% of the total beds available with them for paediatric patients, keeping in mind the third wave.”
“To ensure that we do not face a shortage of oxygen the way we faced during the second wave, we have built oxygen generation plants which we did not have during the second wave due to which we had to rely upon liquid oxygen and cylinders. Now however, we have oxygen generation plants ready with us and we can generate 8,400 litres of oxygen per minute. In the coming week, more generation plants will come up to generate 5,300 litres per minute,” Dr Bharti said.
He said that 75 kilo litres of liquid oxygen which is required for intensive care unit (ICU) patients is readily available for now and 30 kilo litres will be ready in the upcoming week. “As per the deficit report given by the state a month ago, we fell short of 28.3 metric tonne of oxygen which we have covered now and the current capacity is more than the requirement,” Dr Bharti added.
The third wave is expected to have the greatest impact on children, who are still a vulnerable, unvaccinated population. The PMC will shortly issue an official letter to private hospitals to ensure that there is no lack of beds in the future when the number of cases begins to rise.