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Coronavirus pandemic: This is how India is trying to overcome ventilator shortage

Experts say, if COVID-19 cases surge in days ahead, we may struggle as nearly 3 percent of COVID-19 patients would require ventilators.

April 01, 2020 / 05:14 PM IST
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Apollo Hospitals, India's largest healthcare provider, said it had 1,000 ventilators across its network hospitals. The hospital chain - without specifying the number - said it had dedicated a portion of those ventilators for treating COVID-19 patients.

Hospitals are now earmarking isolation wards to treat COVID-19 patients so that other patients and staff are protected from the novel coronavirus infection.

A ventilator is a mechanical breathing device that can blow air and oxygen into the lungs. Ventilators are critical for the care of people with lung failure, which can be one of the complications suffered by patients with severe COVID-19.

While on paper 1,000 ventilators sounds a big number, what will be available for COVID-19 patients in reality is much lower as hospitals have to reserve ventilators to treat non-COVID-19 cases such as heart attacks, strokes and other emergency cases.