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As cases surge in Karnataka, concern over likely rise in hospital bed demand

🔴 According to the data, 2.45 per cent of the 50,114 people diagnosed with Covid-19 between December 1 and January 7 were hospitalised. Since January 1, as the cases began to rise, 66,469 people have tested positive and 1,492 have been hospitalised (2.28 per cent).

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 12, 2022 9:53:43 am
Hospitalisations in Karnataka low due to high vaccination figures, say expertsExperts say hospitalisation is low due to high vaccination statistics. (PTI Photo)

In a sign of a growing demand for hospital beds in Karnataka amid the Covid-19 surge in the last few days, 857 patients have been admitted to hospitals between January 7 and 10 this year alone from a total of 42,598 Covid-positive cases compared to 61 patients in December and 886 in the first week of January, according to data gathered by the state Covid-19 war room.

Despite only two per cent of the Covid-positive cases needing to be hospitalised, the war room data reveals how hospitals in the state can soon come under severe pressure from patients needing beds if the number of daily cases reported stays over 10,000 for long.

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According to the data, 2.45 per cent of the 50,114 people diagnosed with Covid-19 between December 1 and January 7 were hospitalised. Since January 1, as the cases began to rise, 66,469 people have tested positive and 1,492 have been hospitalised (2.28 per cent).

The 2,000 per cent increase in hospital admissions due to Covid-19 compared to December is a cause of concern.

In Bengaluru, 31,912 Covid-19 cases have been detected from January 7 to 10 with 93 persons needing hospitalisation (0.29 per cent). The highest rate of hospitalisation in Karnataka is currently in the districts of Ramanagar and Chamarajnagar in south Karnataka where 55 out of 140 (39.86 per cent) and 156 (35.48 per cent) of Covid 19 positive cases respectively needed hospital admissions.

Explained

Bid to curb another steep curve

During the second wave, in April-May 2021, 8,922 people died in Bengaluru alone. With infection rate jumping by the day, in an effort to address the situation before it gets out of hand, the government Tuesday extended Covid-19 restrictions in the state till the end of January.

From December 1, 2021 to January 10, 2022, 107 deaths have been reported in Karnataka with Bengaluru accounting for 54 among the 30 districts. From January 1 to January 10, the state recorded Covid-19 deaths, with Bengaluru accounting for seven.

The case fatality rate in December was 0.55 per cent but has since dropped to 0.02 in January, so far.

The test positivity rate remains highest in the 70 plus and 80 age group and has jumped from 1.25 per cent and 1.74 percent respectively in December to 7.02 per cent and 7.51 per cent respectively in January. In Bengaluru, the test positivity rate among the elderly has been above 12 per cent in the last 10 days.

“The state has registered 12,000 Covid cases (on Sunday) of which Bengaluru accounted for about 9,000 cases. The positivity rate in the state has risen to 6.8 per cent and it is 10 per cent in Bengaluru. Karnataka is in the third spot in the country in Covid cases and so precautionary measures are needed,” Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday.

The Karnataka CM also reported being infected by the Covid 19 virus in a message on social media on Monday evening.

The analysis of Covid-19 linked hospital admissions between December 1, 2021 and January 7, 2022 by the war room has also revealed that unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to be hospitalised and 30 times more likely to be admitted to ICUs.

The analysis was carried out based on data collected from 947 patients admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 treatment from December 1, 2021 to January 7, 2022.

“With 97 per cent citizens vaccinated and three per cent unvaccinated (in Karnataka according to state data), for every 100 Covid cases or hospitalised cases – 97 should have been vaccinated and three should have been unvaccinated if both groups were equally vulnerable to Covid-19. But, unvaccinated people constitute 10 times the Covid patients in hospitals and 30 times more in ICU than expected,” the head of the war room, Munish Moudgil, said.

The analysis was carried out following suggestions that many of the Covid-19 patients being admitted to hospitals were those who were vaccinated.

“Analysis of Covid patients reveals that unvaccinated are 10times more likely to have manifested Covid infection than vaccinated and the unvaccinated are 30 times more likely to land in ICU or HDU (high dependency unit),” said Moudgil, a state IAS officer who recently received a national e-governance award for using IT in the management of Covid.

“Vaccination surely helps prevent Covid complications and everyone eligible must take it,” he said.

During the severe second wave of the Covid pandemic in April and May, when 8,922 people died in Bengaluru alone, anecdotal reports from hospitals in the city suggested that deaths were minimal among medical personnel who were vaccinated and working on the treatment front line.

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