Manali: As the popular tourist township braces for an onslaught of coronavirus cases, hospitals in Manali, Naggar, Kullu and the valley are not equipped to handle critical care for respiratory stress.
Health professionals confront a grim reality that there simply are not nearly enough lifesaving ventilator machines in Kullu – Manali valley and there is no way to solve the problem before the COVID-19 spread reaches full throttle.
Hospital managements here say that they don’t have the medical devices, which can help patients to breathe easy that can make all the difference between life and death for those who get infected by the virus and come to have acute respiratory distress.
Where many western countries battling the pandemic have evoked wartime rule to get factories to manufacture more ventilators, India and the Himachal Government have not been able to exercise such and urgency for the critical equipment.
Dr. Philip, Medical Superintendent of the Lady Willingdon Mission Hospital Manali says that coronavirus attacks the victims lungs, which in some cases leads to not being able to breathe. “Ventilators, which deliver air to the lungs through a tube placed in the windpipe, are a medical equipment that can keep the patients alive,” he said.
Dr Ranjeet, block medical officer Naggar, Manali said, “with a ratio of 3 ventilators for a population of over 1 lakh, it will not be enough if the number of serious coronavirus cases rises sharply.” The doctor tasked with supervising the healthcare of an entire block added that there was an acute shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the health professionals in the valley.