The hospitals designated by the government for treatment of COVID-19 in the Kathmandu Valley are getting full.
Most of the hospitals say that beds are still available for patients with medium severity but they lack intensive care units (ICU) for those with complex problems.
Sixteen of the ICU beds allocated for COVID-19 at the Patan Hospital are occupied with 14 of those patients on ventilator. "We may be able to admit patients requiring just normal oxygen support but will struggle to take critical patients," Director Dr Ravi Shakya told Setopati.
A total of 138 infected persons are being treated at the hospital that has allocated 210 beds for COVID-19. Dr Shakya added that the remaining beds will be full within a week if the infections were to surge at the current rate and revealed that ICU beds also cannot be expanded beyond 25.
Similarly, 106 of the 140 beds allocated for COVID-19 at the APF Hospital in Balambu are taken. Hospital Spokesperson Dr Pravin Nepal said the hospital had expanded capacity by 30 beds from 110 on Sunday only and added that they all may be taken by the end of Monday.
He revealed that 18 of the 20 ICU beds are also taken while all eight ventilators in the hospital are in use. "We cannot immediately expand ICU beds and add ventilators. We will maximize the use of existing ones," he added.
Similarly, 70 infected patients are being treated at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) that has allocated 120 beds for COVID-19. The TUTH has allocated only 12 ICU beds for now and 11 of them have been taken with four of the patients on ventilator support.
Director Dr Dinesh Kaphle said the hospital will expand five more ICU beds and 22 general beds.
The Health Ministry has designated 13 hospitals in the Valley including three private ones for treatment of COVID-19 and all of those hospitals are seeing a surge in admission in recent days.
A total of 82 patients are being treated in ICU beds at these 13 hospitals and 40 of them are on ventilator support, according to the data published by the ministry on Sunday. Most of these hospitals say they cannot take more critical patients who need ICU beds.
The ministry does not have data for capacity of each hospital for ICU beds and ventilators but updates the data for number of patients in the ICU and ventilator every day. It also does not maintain data for the number of ICU beds and ventilators yet to be taken in the Valley.