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No hospital beds in Noida, Covid patients run pillar to post

Even as the Uttar Pradesh government assured people there was no lack of Covid medical facilities, families of several patients put out emergency messages seeking help on social media after being unable to procure beds in Gautam Buddh Nagar district.

Iqbal Singh, a fifty-five-year-old DRDO employee, received a positive Covid report three days ago and his oxygen level began deteriorating soon. His condition turned critical with SPO2 levels dropping below 40 in a matter of a few hours. With not even a single bed available in Noida and Greater Noida, his family went to Delhi searching for admission. Iqbal, eventually, passed away at the Sardar Patel Covid centre.

“We gave our best. We didn’t leave a single hospital unchecked in Noida or Greater Noida. Even in the ambulance his SPo2 levels had gone below 40. The hospitals already had enough patients and they could not take new people. We tried for hours but could not save him,” said Renuka, Iqbal’s daughter.

Even as the Uttar Pradesh government assured people there was no lack of Covid medical facilities, families of several patients put out emergency messages seeking help on social media after being unable to procure beds in Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Some patients even had to travel to other districts in the state for treatment.

“I began the hunt for beds on Saturday when my own SPO2 level began dipping near 80 after I tested positive. We checked up on all hospitals in Greater Noida but they had no bed. The hospitals tell you that they already have patients inside that will require the oxygen beds. And hence could not take new patients. I found a bed in Meerut eventually in a place slightly bigger than a dispensary. Thankfully, my oxygen level stabilised and I did not require critical care because I would not have got it,” said N Thyagarajan, a resident of Greater Noida.

Some patients, who managed to find a bed, were told that only limited treatment would be provided and those seeking oxygen and ventilators should look for a different hospital.

“Since Monday afternoon, we have been trying to get an oxygen bed for my sister, whose levels have been fluctuating below 85. After trying 6 hospitals, she found a place in one. But they told her that they will prioritise patients that are already there. So now we have to start looking all over again. I am already looking for concentrators and cylinders just in case,” said Ashish Agarwal, a resident of Sector 77.

Noida administration, however, said they were prepared for the patient load.

“The administration has made war-like preparation to ensure there are medical facilities. There were 406 recoveries and the number of patients getting discharged are higher. The officials are making visits to the hospitals on a regular basis. The capacity of beds will be increased as per the demand. An audit of oxygen demand by hospitals has also been ordered,” said the Noida administration in a statement.

Gautam Buddh Nagar on Monday reported 655 cases taking the tally to 6,300 active cases. Presently, the district has 2,500 beds across 18 hospitals while another 1,000 beds will be added in the coming days, said officials.

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