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Tomsk clinic offers ‘sitting hospitalization’ to COVID-19 patient due to lack of beds

Doctors at a hospital in Tomsk offered to admit a woman diagnosed with the coronavirus to “sitting hospitalization” due to a lack of available hospital beds. This was first reported by Dmitry Aleshkovsky, the director of the publication Takie Dela and board chairman of the charity foundation Nuzhna Pomosh, on Twitter on November 1. 

“My friend’s mom, who is sick with COVID-19, was offered SITTING HOSPITALIZATION in Tomsk! SITTING!!! Because there are no beds.”

Several hours before Aleshkovsky posted on Twitter, the group “Region-70 | Tomsk” on the social networking site VKontakte uploaded a video allegedly filmed at City Medical Unit Number Two. The recording shows patients lying on cots in the hallway. “There are no places in the wards,” the person recording the video says. “Patients are lying like this in the corridors. There are no free beds either. Patients are being admitted and sat on chairs. There are two free chairs left.” 

The Tomsk regional authorities claimed that 40.5 percent of hospital beds in the region were vacant on October 31. On November 1, they reported 39.8 percent. At the same time, VKontakte users were commenting on the page for the region’s coronavirus operational headquarters asking why, given the large number of officially available hospitals beds, “people are in such horrifying and humiliating conditions,” such as at City Medical Unit Number Two. 

The Tomsk Regional Health Department told RIA Novosti that many people were gathered in the hallways of City Medical Unit Number Two in Tomsk due to “an increase in hospitalizations to 90–95 people per day.” In response, the hospital’s emergency room raised its number of beds from 80 to 150.

According to official data, as of the morning of November 2 the Tomsk Region had registered 12,756 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic (including 189 in the past day). In total, 125 patients have died from the disease while 8,394 have recovered. There are currently 4,237 active coronavirus cases in the region.

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