Over the next 48 hours, health officials say many others will be discharged and kept in home quarantine. The first to begin discharges will be the state-run Gandhi Hospital, which has already stopped taking in asymptomatic patients.
The surge in Covid-19 positive cases has resulted in the designated hospitals nearing their full capacity, while a further surge in numbers is expected by health authorities. This has prompted authorities to decide on the option of home quarantine for certain patients in future.
“Although we have not exhausted the capacity in the Covid-19 designated hospitals at present, we have already taken a decision for asymptomatic patients and patients with mild symptoms to be home quarantined,” said a senior official from the state health department.
“We are trying to get patients below 50 years of age in home quarantine as the numbers are expected to increase exponentially in the near future since there is substantial relaxation in norms. This has happened in other countries too and is expected here too that the curve might see a sharp rise again,” added the official.
Meanwhile, the situation at the state run Gandhi hospital, which is the only exclusive Covid-19 hospital in the state and the nodal centre for treating Covid-19 patients, is such that the entire ICU capacity of 150 beds is full while there are 729 patients in the hospital as on Tuesday.
While the current capacity of 1,000 beds (including ICU beds) can be scaled upto 1,500 beds at any time, the authorities are hoping to free up space anticipating more number of moderate to serious cases.
“We are drawing up a list of patients with mild symptoms (below 50 years of age) so that we can start discharging them in a day or two. The lists will be forwarded to the respective District Medical Health Officers (DMHO) before discharging the patients, so that they can follow up the patients at home. We are asking only symptomatic patients be sent to us,” said Dr Narasimha Rao Netha, deputy superintendent, Gandhi Hospital.