Coronavirus | Chennai bed capacity, screening centres to be increased soon, Corporation says

The Corporation is planning to set up a 24×7 screening facility at the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Island Grounds to reduce the load on government hospitals; 2,400 additional oxygen-supported beds to be set up

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will open a 24/7 screening centre for triaging COVID-19 patients at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Island Grounds within the next two days.

This is part of a slew of measures being taken to increase the bed capacity and the number of screening centres in Chennai to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

M.A. Siddique, Principal Secretary, Commercial Taxes department, who has been deputed as Special Coordinator to GCC for COVID-19 management, told the media on Thursday that nine more screening centres will be opened shortly, apart from the 12 functioning now. He said that the screening centre to come at KV Island Grounds will particularly help in preventing COVID-19 patients from queuing up in government hospitals during the night. “Many are directly rushing to hospitals either in ambulances or private vehicles. This can result in more waiting time for critically ill patients in ambulances. We do not want the situation that we are seeing in some other cities to happen here,” he said.

To complement this, he said the Health and Family Welfare Department was increasing the beds reserved for providing immediate care for those brought in critical condition to government hospitals. “This will further reduce turnaround time for ambulances,” he added.

He reiterated GCC’s appeal to the public to first approach screening centres as triaging will help in prioritising the cases and ensuring beds for those who were really in need.

Bed capacity

Acknowledging that beds were filling up fast in Chennai, he said that measures were being taken to ramp up the capacity in the coming days. Highlighting that there were 2,545 oxygen-supported beds in the government sector at the moment, he said another 2,400 will be added shortly.

“This will be done by converting some non-oxygen beds to oxygen-supported beds and also by adding new beds,” he said.

A total of 250 additional oxygen-supported beds each in Government Royapettah Hospital and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Egmore have become functional from Thursday, he said.

He said that 500 beds being set up for the COVID Care Centre to come up in Chennai Trade Centre will also be oxygen supported.

Website

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the public can visit http://covid19.chennaicorporation.gov.in/ for all information related to COVID-19, including the location of screening centres, sample collection centres, vaccination centres, fever camps and COVID Care Centres.

The Greater Chennai Corporation has not registered any abnormal increase in deaths, Mr. Prakash said. He told journalists on Thursday that officials were monitoring all the 240 burial grounds for any abnormal increase in deaths. “The City Health Officer is the custodian of data on births and deaths. We would have known if there had been any increase in the number of deaths. The condition of Chennai is not like that of cities in northern parts of India. The case fatality of COVID-19 has reduced to 1.4% in Chennai,” said Mr.Prakash.

Pointing to a technical snag in the COVID-19 portal, Mr. Prakash said it would be streamlined shortly.

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