Updated: August 31, 2020 8:39:19 am
With border relaxations coming into effect and some cities close to the capital seeing Covid spikes, more people from outside the city took hospital admission in Delhi in August as compared to June and July.
According to Delhi government officials, around 30% of Covid patients admitted in Delhi hospitals between August 1 and 28 were from outside the city, up from around 10% in the beginning of July and even lesser in June, when the lockdown was in place.
Of the 8,577 people admitted to hospitals for Covid treatment, both government and private, 2,536 were from outside Delhi. In the last week of July, the figure touched 19%, reached 26% on August 3 and touched 40% on August 10.
Most seeking treatment are from the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Haryana — both states have had border curbs with Delhi at separate points, which are relaxed now.
In some private hospitals, there are fewer patients from Delhi than those from outside, though this is the case only in a handful of institutes.
This includes Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where of the 110 Covid patients admitted, 44 are from Delhi. At Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, the Delhi government said, of the 158 people admitted, 111 are from outside Delhi.
“Cases are going up in other states like Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and maybe health facilities are running full in their areas, so there is a possibility that patients from other states are turning to Delhi. Another factor is that since travel restrictions have been eased, those who can afford and are in need of quality care are getting admitted to hospitals in Delhi,” said Dr D S Rana, chairman of the board, Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
After a downward trend that lasted close to a month, new cases in Delhi have been on the rise for the past two weeks, along with the number of people in hospitals.
At present, there are around 4,105 people across hospitals in Delhi. The figure dipped to below 3,000 in the last week of July.
There are over 10,000 hospital beds still available for Covid patients. Over 740 ventilator beds and 434 ICU beds are also unoccupied.
The sudden increase in cases has had the government in a huddle to devise strategies to make sure a situation like the one that was seen in the first week of June — when patients were unable to get beds in hospitals and many were struggling to find ICUs and ventilators — is not repeated.
In June, the Delhi government had said it was planning to reserve beds in Delhi government as well as private hospitals for Covid patients from Delhi — a move struck down by L-G Anil Baijal.
“We are worried again as cases are rising. We had expected that to happen. Now that lockdown has been eased further, and states have been stopped from imposing restrictions, we expect cases will rise further. What we need to ensure is that there are enough beds for patients who need them,” said a senior Delhi government official.
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