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Status of hospitals in Bagmati for COVID-19 treatment: adequate isolation beds, oxygen cylinders



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By Keshab Raj Poudel,  Kathmandu, Nov.3: Hospital of all levels- district, provincial, federal as well as the private- have set up and kept standby the isolation wards, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and ventilator facility for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Bagmati province, which has recently become a hotspot for the deadly infection.

The focus has been made on maintaining the level of the stored oxygen and the supply of oxygen needed for the infected people.

Not only the hospitals of Bagmati Province, but also the hospitals in all the districts of Nepal have continuously informed the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) about the availability of oxygen along with isolation wards, ICUs and ventilator facility.

77 cylinders of oxygen gas have been used in provincial hospitals in Bagmati, 498 in central level hospitals, five in government hospitals, 1,117 in private hospitals and 1,158 in medical colleges for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Some hospitals are preparing to install direct oxygen pipelines for the patient in the hospital.

The Ministry of Health and Population has also started following up about the situation of the oxygen, isolation wards, ICU, and wards with ventilator facility following the emergence of Bagmati province as a hotspot lately.

Dr. Samir Kumar Adhikari, assistant spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), said that the government was monitoring the private, government and federal hospitals and was inquiring about how many infected can be treated in those hospitals, how is the situation of isolation wards, ICUs, ventilator rooms and oxygen supply condition and how to provide ICU facilities to the general wards of hospitals in Kathmandu Valley.

In order to keep the district hospitals in the ready position, coordination is being made with the COVID-19 Management Post of the district as well, said Dr. Adhikari.

The ministry said that wards including ICU, isolation and ventilator have been set up and treatment has been started by fixing a certain number of spots for the COVID-19 patients in the hospitals.

Existing capacity of hospitals in Bagmati province

Trishuli Hospital has a 30-bed isolation ward, 10 ICUs and two ventilators.

The hospital also has an oxygen plant with a capacity of one thousand liters and necessary oxygen cylinders.

At present, there are 17,692 infected people in home isolation and 6,418 institutional isolation in Bagmati alone.

There are 32 isolation wards in the isolation facility of Dhading of Child Welfare Committee with facility  of 10 cylinders of oxygen for 24 hours a day.

Additional oxygen has also been provided by private oxygen plant industries.

At present, District Hospital Ramechhap has a 30-bed isolation ward.

The hospital has the required 30 cylinders of oxygen and can be easily supplied from Kathmandu and Kavre on a regular basis.

The ministry estimates that the 30 cylinders can meet the demand even if all the patients in isolation need oxygen at the same time.

Even in Ramechhap Hospital, there are 20 cylinders of oxygen and isolation of 20 beds is in operation.

Along with this, Rasuwa District Hospital has six cylinders of oxygen and 20 people have isolation beds, so it is possible to take patients there from Kathmandu to Nuwakot as per the need.

Hetauda Hospital has an isolation ward for 120 people and the hospital has 11 existing cylinders and is in the process of laying a direct oxygen pipeline.

Bhaktapur Hospital, which is being developed as a special hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 infected people, has an ICU and three ventilators.

Preparation of the federal hospitals for COVID-19 treatment

Beds, ICs and ventilators and oxygen cylinder are being kept stand by for COVID-19 infected patients not only in the provincial level hospitals but also in the central hospitals.

Nepal's first public hospital, the Bir Hospital, has 170 isolation beds for COVID-19 patients, 10 ICUs and 10 ventilators and 35 cylinders are set up in ready position.

However, despite having its own oxygen plant, the hospital has not been able to bring the plant into operation due to lack of equipment.

It has been using oxygen by buying from the private gas industry.

The Nepal Police Hospital has an isolation ward of 114 beds, 60 cylinders of oxygen gas and a 14-bed ICU and two ventilators.

The Armed Police Force Hospital has a 200-bed isolation ward.

The hospital has 20 ICUs and eight ventilators but no oxygen cylinders.

The National Center for Ayurvedic Studies also has 220 isolation beds and 23 oxygen cylinders, but is has no ICU and ventilator.

Even though Bharatpur Hospital has its own plant, but, it is not working at present.

However, it has 65 cylinders of oxygen available to treat the infected.

Government hospitals lack necessary number of oxygen cylinders

The government-run Mulpani Hospital, Tokha PHC, Chalnakhel PHC, Khanaritar Hospital Isolation Center and Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital have 103 isolation beds in total, but except for Kharanitar Hospital which has five oxygen cylinders, all others lack oxygen cylinders.

Oxygen and ICU in good condition in private hospitals

The oxygen cylinders as well as cylinders separated to treat the COVID-19 patients in private hospitals are found to be in good condition.

Private hospitals have their own oxygen plants and even well-organized pipelines.

Meanwhile, the private hospitals in total have 1,080 isolations, 160 ICUs, 76 ventilators and 1,117 oxygen cylinders.