Persisting high-grade fever, early lung involvement and higher infection rate – these are some of the crucial factors observed in patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in the ongoing surge.
On Sunday, Delhi recorded 10,732 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day surge till date, according to data shared by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
With general and ICU beds fully occupied at most hospitals, doctors said they are seeing more symptomatic patients in the current surge as compared to the previous wave. Calling it a more “infectious strain”, experts feel the next two weeks are going to be critical for patients with severe symptoms.
“The number of asymptomatic cases were much more during the previous wave. Cases are more symptomatic this time, with patients having high-grade fever and showing more symptoms. The next couple of weeks will give us a clear picture on whether the virus is more deadly or not. But it is definitely a more infectious strain. The last five days in Delhi have been terrible…,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, department of internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo hospital.
With the city recording 66,273 Covid cases so far this month, health experts have once again requested people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and emphasised on the need to wear masks.
Dr Manoj Goel, director, pulmonology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, said “The way the number of cases have picked up in the last two weeks was not seen earlier. Before Holi, cases were under control but it has suddenly gone up in the last two weeks. This strain is much faster and quicker… So if you have more patients, it will definitely increase the burden on the healthcare system.”
According to doctors, while most patients in general wards belong to the 30-45 age group, those being shifted to the ICUs are the elderly with severe symptoms.
Dr Vivek Nangia, principal director and head of pulmonology at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, said: “We were getting more people in the age group between 30 and 50 years till last week. It has also been observed that fever is persisting longer in the younger age group.
This week, things have changed a little bit and older people in families are getting affected. They are the ones who are being taken to ICUs with respiratory issues – and they are landing up earlier now. In the last wave, we would see the involvement of the lungs on the 8th or the 10th day, but it is now being seen on the 5th or the 7th day. In fact, there are many patients who are coming with a Covid-19 negative report but their CT scan report is a classic case of Covid infection.”
Doctors have also said many patients are coming in with reduced oxygen saturation levels.
Meanwhile, Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Hospital has patients below the age of 10.
C“We have four such patients, one of them is just eight months old. So, it is difficult to say that only the younger or older population is getting infected. However, what we have observed is that patients are coming in with extremely low saturation levels. At present, we are able to manage them but it is very important to provide treatment on time. One should not delay in reaching the hospital,” said Suresh Kumar, Lok Nayak medical director.