Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hospitals getting COVID-19 patients in increasing numbers, most patients do not need oxygen support


Sharad Sharma 

Kathmandu, 14 January (2022) - Unlike during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the patients suffering from coronavirus infection witnessed at present do not need oxygen support, physicians have said. 

Doctors have said that although the number infected people coming to the hospitals has increased, they are not severe type of cases.

Director of the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Dr Manisha Rawal shared that many of the patients suffering from coronavirus infection do not need oxygen support. 

"The infected patients receiving treatment at hospital at present do not need oxygen support. Sixty percent of the patients do not need oxygen," she said. 

The Hospital has kept the oxygen plant and the liquefied oxygen plant in ready state although the patients need not be kept on oxygen support. 

Dr Rawal said out of the 12 patients admitted at hospital, three are being treated in the intensive care unit with oxygen support. Nine patients are being treated in High dependency unit (HDU). According to her, most patients complain of irritation in throat, running nose, body pain, increased body heat and flu-like symptoms.

Similarly, the Omicron variant creates complication in respiratory system infecting the upper respiratory tract.  

Earlier, the Delta variant used to infect the lower respiratory tract or lungs. Out of 15 patients visiting Teku Hospital on Thursday, 10 were infected with COVID-19. There are 100 beds along with 24 ICU beds in Teku Hospital. 

Hospital Director Dr Rawal said that next two weeks are very challenging as number of coronavirus infected is increasing. 

"What shape the Omicron variant will take place. On this basis, the next two weeks are seen very challenging," she shared. 

Similarly, number of coronavirus infected people is increasing at Balambu-based APF Hospital. Fifty-five coronavirus infected are now receiving treatment at the hospital.  

Dr Pravin Nepal of the Hospital stated that most of the patients admitted at the hospital do not need oxygen as compared to the people infected with the virus during the second wave. 

"Only 15 per cent corona patients admitted to the hospital are receiving treatment with oxygen facility," he added. 

A total of 14 coronavirus patients were admitted to COVID-19 Unified Central Hospital (Bir Hospital) in the last 24 hours. 

Hospital Chief Dr Bhupendra Basnet shared that number of people visiting the hospital is increasing with the increase of COVID-19 infection cases. Fifty-two COVID patients are receiving treatment at the hospital. Of them, nine are in ICU. 

The government had decided to operate the country’s oldest Bir Hospital as the COVID-19 Unified Central Hospital last year. Majority of COVID-19 inpatients so far do not need oxygen, according to him. 

The Hospital owns a plant producing 250 cylinders of oxygen on a daily basis and a 20-ton liquid oxygen plant. The 500-bed facility has 100 ICU beds.    

Though the Omicron variant seems to be less fatal than of the previous variants, the effect may be qualitative due to its high transmissibility character.  It can infect the vaccinated as well. Bearing in mind the possible risk from this variant, the Hospital has reconditioned the oxygen support system, ICU facility, HDU facility, ventilators and isolation wards.   The medical workforce has been placed on standby to handle the untoward situation.  

 According to Joint Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, presently 2,797 ICU, 1008 ventilators and 3,846 HDU are available across the country. Likewise, the number of medical oxygen cylinders is 13,939 followed by 693 oxygen concentrators while 19 out of 25 oxygen tankers and 87 of 107 oxygen plants are in operation.  

There are 2,494 isolation beds, 324 HDU, 445 ICU and 254 ventilator-supported beds in the Kathmandu Valley. 

So far, 27 cases of Omicron variant have been confirmed in the country.