by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: The ongoing Covid19 pandemic has exposed the disparity in the helath infrascture that exists within the two regions. Kashmir has only 154 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients in comparison to 300 in the Jammu division. Jammu has 188 patients admitted in the ICU division in comparison to 72 on May 25, 2021.
The lack of ICUs and ventilator beds is creating a serious problem in helping a section of patients survive. There was a spate of deaths in certain hospitals for this facility as most of these beds are occupied across all hospitals. Insiders in the health care sector said that doctors recommended a number of patients – mostly in SKIMS Bemina, to be shifted to ICU beds but the non-availability led to a protracted wait and eventual death of these patients. They said almost a dozen patients died.
A 45-year-old female whose saturation fell to a phenomenal 45 was recommended thrice to a ventilator but the JVC lacked it. The family arranged one in SKIMS but could not manage to transport the critical patient to SKIMS. A patient from Beerwah was recommended to be shifted to an ICU bed on May 17. As the bed could not be arranged, he died two days later. A former engineer also died in the same hospital for lack of a ventilator.
Engineer Abdul Khaliq Mir of Wadwan Budgam who died in SKIMS Bemina three days ago was also recommended by doctors to be put on ventilator support.
Hospital has six ventilators and all are occupied, JVC officials said.
Among the 188 ICU patients in the Jammu division, 96 aren’t on ventilator support while 74 are on Non-Invasive ventilator support and 18 are on Invasive ventilator support.
In Kashmir valley, among the 74 patients admitted in ICUs, 40 aren’t on ventilator support while 22 are on Non-Invasive ventilator support and 10 are on Invasive ventilator support.
In terms of the total isolation beds for Covid-19 excluding the ICU beds, Kashmir valley has 2792 beds which is more than the Jammu division’s 2301 beds. However, Kashmir has 1391 patients on Oxygen support in comparison to Jammu’s 962 such patients.
Also, Kashmir has 111 patients who are admitted in hospitals but aren’t on Oxygen support while Jammu has 151 such patients leaving 1197 isolated Covid-19 beds vacant in Kashmir while 1190 vacant beds in the Jammu division.
The overall Covid-19 beds in Kashmir stand at 2853 among which 1574 are currently occupied while Jammu has 2603 total beds among which 1301 are occupied.
The total number of cases till May 25 stands at 169299 in the Kashmir division while in Jammu the figure is 106523.