Wedding at home. Stuck in a city hotel after coming for a wedding. No one to take care at home.
Many Covid patients admitted at several hospitals in Kolkata are experiencing mild symptoms and normally could stay in home quarantine, because of “social reasons”, said doctors and officials of the healthcare facilities.
There are many still who need admission because of falling oxygen saturation or other complications. However, there are several patients who could ideally stay at home and get treated but needed to get admitted as they had reasons which are not related to the illness only, said doctors and officials.
During the second wave of the pandemic, such patients would not have got beds because a lot of people with moderate and severe symptoms were getting admitted. But now, with cases coming down, beds are easily available at all hospitals.
At Peerless Hospital, there are at least 10 Covid patients who have mild symptoms but are still admitted because they have weddings and other social gatherings at home, which could get disrupted if they stayed at home.
“These patients would have ideally stayed at home but then the wedding and other social functions would have got disrupted. So, they had requested the doctors to get them admitted,” said Sudipta Mitra, the chief executive of Peerless Hospital. The hospital on Saturday had 32 patients admitted.
Now, as almost all facilities have opened up, weddings are being organised across the city.
At Fortis Hospital, an official said, they recently received a phone call from a group of men who were staying at a city hotel and tested positive for Covid.
“They had come to Kolkata to attend a wedding and then got infected. They had no place to quarantine and so called the hospital,” said the Fortis official.
Apart from the social occasions at home, there are people who have no one to take care at home and so prefer to get admitted.
At RN Tagore International Institute there are few such patients.
“We have a couple of patients who would otherwise have stayed in home isolation but got admitted because there is no one at home to take care. They had expressed concerns that if some emergency occurs they would be vulnerable,” said R. Venkatesh, the regional director, east, of Narayana Health of which, the RN Tagore hospital is a flagship unit.
“Since we have beds available, doctors got these patients admitted,” he said.
Doctors said the demands have changed since the first wave of Covid in 2020.
“During the first wave, the knowledge about the virus was very limited and so there were people with mild symptoms getting admitted due to panic as well as because of social ostracization. In the second wave, patients who were genuinely sick and needed hospital care were getting admitted. But now, the threshold for testing and admission has gone up,” said Chandramouli Bhattacharya, infectious diseases expert at Peerless Hospital.
“There are many elderly whose children stay outside. These people, when testing positive, are getting admitted because they feel safer.”