India needs more ICU beds and medical staff | Fusion - WeRIndia

India needs more ICU beds and medical staff

India needs more ICU beds and medical staff

India is battling against the second wave of COVID-19. Keeping the rising COVID-19 cases in mind, health experts warned that the country would need around 5 lakh more ICU beds and 3.5 lakh medical staff, including doctors and nurses, in the next few weeks.

India has only 90,000 ICU beds and all of them are already occupied. Though COVID-19 cases are rising in the country, they have not reached a peak yet, as per experts. In this scenario, the warning of experts is noteworthy and worrisome.

Dr Shetty, the chairman and founder of Narayana Health, said that there is a shortage of medical staff. The existing healthcare workers have been providing their services to COVID-19 patients for the past year relentlessly. Now they are tired. Most of them were infected and many others wanted to take a rest. But, the shortage of medical staff does not allow them to do so.

As per statistical analysis, five per cent of the positive patients need an ICU bed. On average, the ICU beds are occupied by each patient for 10 days. If this situation continues, the country needs five lakh additional ICU beds in the coming few weeks. The more number of ICU beds means the requirement of more doctors and nurses.

Dr Shetty advised the government to deploy nursing students to work for COVID ICU wards for one year to meet the demand of medical staff. There are around 2.20 lakh nursing students, across the country.

He also said that there are 1.30 lakh young doctors who are preparing for NEET exams. He suggested conducting the online test immediately and declare the results. As there are only 35,000 positions in the post-graduation course, all other young doctors who do not get admission into NEET shall be deployed in COVID ICU wards.

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