Published on April 24, 2021

AHMEDABAD: Across Ahmedabad, 404 ventilator beds were earmarked for Covid-19 patients in private hospitals and 470-odd in government-run hospitals as of Friday evening.
The beds for critically ill patients are getting full as soon as new beds are added due to heavy rush felt by almost all the facilities, making it difficult for the relatives to secure even one.

In such a scenario, several private hospitals are attempting to increase their ventilatory capacity to address the tsunami of Covid cases in the past fortnight. But several of these hospitals face the roadblock in purchase or procurement of machines. While some hospitals were rewarded by their long-time connections with vendors who could provide them the life-saving machines in a day or two, for several hospitals placing bulk orders, the time was said to be two weeks or more.

“We are getting seven more ventilators for Covid-19 patients. We have been assured delivery by May 10 by the supplier. Several other city-based hospitals have also reported 15- to 20-day window for procurement,” said Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA). “Turnaround time for the ventilator beds is much higher compared to oxygen beds due to severity of Covid infection. Thus, with rise in critical patients, the demand has also increased.”

Director of a city-based hospital said that primary reason for the delay is condition in other states. “Apart from the obvious jump in the demand across India, one must also take into consideration the fact that the major suppliers are based in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and to some extent Chennai. All these cities have curbs or lockdowns. The suppliers however are doing their best to adhere to the delivery timeline,” said the doctor.

Namisha Gandhi, vice president of Sterling Hospitals, said that the hospital is acquiring over 20 ventilators. “We expect the delivery and installation by May 15. The number of patients requiring ventilatory care has increased – which prompted us to expand our inventory. Likewise, we are also expanding our oxygen capacity by installation of another tank. It might also take 15 to 20 days,” she said.

State health department officials said that the central procurement of ventilators for various government hospitals is going on and the state might get 100-odd ventilators by end of next month.

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