Despite surge in COVID-19 related deaths across the three districts of north Kashmir, the authorities have failed to utilise the ventilators meant for the critical coronavirus patients as there is not a single ICU set up across the designated hospitals of the north Kashmir.
As per the official figures, all the designated COVID-19 hospitals in north Kashmir have around 33 ventilators at disposal which include 13 at Government Medical College Baramulla, six at Sub District Hospital Bandipora, seven each at SDH Kupwara and SDH Sopore.
However, there is not a single ICU unit available across all the COVID-19 designated hospitals across north Kashmir.
Resultantly, all these ventilators are lying without any use.
"These ventilators are not being utilised despite having several patients who lost their lives in the second wave of pandemic," said an official in the Health department.
In GMC Baramulla, five patients lost their lives due to COVID-19 since April this year while around 10 critical patients who need ICU assistance were referred to Srinagar hospital.
An official at GMC Baramulla said that it was extremely important to have ICU ward at the GMC Baramulla so that the sick patients are treated here.
Nodal Officer GMC Baramulla, DrYasir said that by establishing an ICU ward, they could put all the ventilators to use besides dealing with critical patients here itself.
"The establishment of ICU ward is extremely important. We have ventilators but they are of no use. For setting up an ICU for the COVID-19 patients, staff is also required which we don't have," he said.
Besides ICU, there is no high dependency unit available for the critical COVID-19 patients across north Kashmir.
Establishment of such units could also prove pivotal in saving lives.
The authorities had so far not issued NIV masks for the establishment of such units.
The use of mask ventilation for acute respiratory failure is part of the high dependency unit and is important in treating the critical COVID-19 patients.