Rise in corona: 15,000 Oxygen beds ready in Chennai

Despite the surge of cases in TN, the Public Works Department (PWD) was prepared to handle it, as the fourth wave was anticipated by experts.

Workers at PWD have already scaled up the maximum bed strength with 15,000 Oxygen beds in the city. During the second wave, then the State was hit with lack of beds in hospitals.

“Later, the number of beds were increased. When experts claimed that fourth wave was expected in June, as per the request from the State Health Department, we made sure to add 240 Oxygen beds at all GHs at a cost of Rs 6 crore,” said a senior PWD official.

After the second wave, COVID-related hospitalisation dipped across the State and so did the requirement for Oxygen beds. That hasn’t changed till now, as the PWD is yet to receive request from the State Health Department for more beds. Only 5% of COVID patients are admitted at the hospitals.

“A total of 15,000 Oxygen beds are available at various hospitals. We have provided the maximum number of beds during the pandemic in the past 3 years. But we’re planning to set up additional 750 beds at Kings Institute soon. There are already 750 beds there,” he added.

Meanwhile, to reduce the burden of GHs in North Chennai, a hospital with 1,000 beds is being built at the King Institute premises, along with a six-storeyed building at the total cost of Rs 230 crore.