|Hospitals overcrowded with
flue, Chikungunya patients
By Anurangi Singh and Vindya
Hospitals in Colombo are chock-a-block with patients suffering
from a viral flue spreading in the city and the suburbs as well
as from those suffering from suspected Chikungunya disease.
Patients with high fever and seeking to get admitted to hospital
are being referred from one hospital to another due to
overcrowding. In some hospitals these patients have been even
accommodated in the intensive care units and the operation units
until beds are found.
Nearly three hundred patients are currently being admitted at
the National Hospital, Colombo diagnosed for high fever and
suspected Chikungunya during the past few weeks.
Speaking to The Nation, the Deputy Director of the National
Hospital, Dr. Rani Fernando said that currently an average of
three hundred patients are in the hospital and nearly one
hundred patients are daily admitted and discharged.
“We don’t encourage taking tests to diagnose whether it is
Chikungunya or not because it’s very expensive, instead we treat
them for the normal viral fever. Treating for the fever will
suffice as these tests will not make any difference in the
medication,” Dr Fernando said.
In the mean time, several leading private hospitals in Colombo
are referring patients to other hospitals as they are
overflowing with the increasing rush of fever patients. The
Nation spoke to several private hospitals and they admitted that
they have to turn down these patients due to lack of space.
“There are no beds available. We have no choice but to refer
patients to other hospitals,” said the Chief Matron of one
This has been happening for the last few weeks as many were
suffering from the spread of a viral flue. Most patients were
admitted to the emergency services of these hospitals with
complaints of high fever, periodical shivering and joint pain.
However, doctors at emergency services prescribe only
antibiotics. Since there is no chance that so many patients can
be admitted to a hospital, it has been difficult to monitor the
status of the patients. Therefore, it is not possible to
conclude that this surge of illness is due to the spread of the
suspected Chikungunya disease.