TN has sufficient hospital beds for COVID-19 patients: Govt

Chennai, Jun 8 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government on Monday asserted that there were sufficient beds for COVID-19 patients in government private hospitals here and said a portal would be launched to provide information on occupancy and vacancy.

Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said there was an opinion (apparently indicating among doctors and public health experts) that positive cases may increase and the government was fully geared up to tackle that eventuality as well.

'Can you point out that a single coronavirus positive patient could not be admitted due to non availability of bed?' the Minister asked.

He was responding to questions about a video message of a former Doordarshan newsreader and actor that there was not a single bed in government and private hospitals here to admit a friend of his for coronavirus treatment.

The message, in which the actor also urged people to remain indoors, went viral on social media.

Accusing the actor of disseminating false information, Vijayabaskar warned government will not be a spectator and take action against him.

'Do not spread rumour, these are times of pandemic, government will not be a spectator,' the Minister said.

Patients who were sent to government hospitals in the dead of the night from private facilities were also successfully cured, he said.

Vijayabaskar said there were about 5,000 beds in four government medical college hospitals and an ESI hospital in the city besides Greater Chennai Corporation's 17,500 beds in Covid Care Centres and across the state there are 75,000 beds.

The Minister said the claim on insufficient beds was false, a 'big wrong and condemnable.' The government hospitals have the necessary infrastructure, including oxygen lines and ventilators, to treat virus afflicted patients, he said.

Of the 3,571 ventilators in state-run hospitals, only six patients required the machines as of now, he said.

A website would be launched on Tuesday to provide information on occupany and vacancy of beds in private hospitals which have been asked to increase beds for coronavirus patients, he said.

The private hospitals were coming forward to increase beds and a corporate hospital here has given a letter to Chief Minister K Palaniswami to allocate 20 per cent beds for treating coronavirus positive patients under 'minimum, nominal charges', he said. PTI VGN VS VS