Amid complaints that Covid-19 patients were being denied admission in government and private hospitals citing non-availability of beds, Andhra Pradesh administration has come up with a digital solution to help ease the situation.
The state medical and health department has developed a “QR code” to help find available beds in 138 hospitals across the state. The people can scan the QR code and check for availability in their respective areas.
“The code will disclose which hospital has how many beds and how many of them are available for admission,” an official in the chief minister’s office familiar with the development said on Friday.
According to the official, the QR code facility has been created in the wake of several complaints about non-availability of beds, forcing the Covid-19 patients to run from one hospital to another.
“This initiative to use the ‘QR code’ technology is an attempt to not only diversify the options but also reduce the response time in case of emergencies,” the official said.
Chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed that the patients must be provided beds in hospital within 30 minutes of contacting the authorities on toll-free numbers 104 and 14410.
The CM warned of stringent action against hospitals that deny admission to people who contracted coronavirus. He also asked the medical and health department officials to monitor the facilities available in the hospitals and see that the bed availability be displayed online.
The officials said there are about 32,000 beds in the 128 district Covid-19 hospitals, and 8,000 in 10 state-level Covid-19 hospitals, and patients are admitted to either of these facilities based on their health.
“With the rise in the number of cases the workload on the state-level helplines has been increasing. So, the QR code facility will help people get access to the information about hospital beds,” the official said.
The total number of positive cases for Covid-19 in the state is nearing two lakh and the number of deaths has mounted to 1,753. However, the state government has claimed that the positivity rate for the disease and the mortality rate in the state are less than the national average.
“While the national average of Covid-19 positivity is 8.87 per cent, Andhra Pradesh average has been 8.56 per cent, while that of Karnataka is 9.88 per cent, Tamil Nadu 9.26 per cent, Maharashtra 19.36 per cent and Delhi 12.75 per cent. When it comes to mortality rate, the national average is 2.07 percent while the state average is 0.89 per cent,” said an official to CM Reddy at a review meeting earlier today.
Stating that the state had conducted more than 2. 3 million tests till now, Jagan said about 85 to 90 per cent of the tests are being conducted in the containment areas. He also directed that the authorities ensure timely admission of Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms in the hospitals so as to reduce the mortality rate.