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88% of Covid ICU beds across Delhi hospitals occupied

Of 125 hospitals with critical-care facilities, 88 hospitals have no empty ICU beds.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
April 16, 2021 10:08:47 pm
Delhi, Covid-19At an isolation centre in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Almost nine out of 10 ICU beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients in Delhi are occupied at the moment, putting the healthcare system under immense strain.

Data uploaded by hospitals on the Delhi government’s real-time Corona App shows that 88% of ICU beds are occupied while the remaining intensive care facilities are also filling up fast.

Data shows that of the 3,989 critical-care beds in the city for Covid-19 patients, 3,535 are occupied. There are 125 hospitals with critical-care facilities. Of these, not a single bed in the ICU is available in 88 hospitals, which includes six government and 82 private facilities.

At the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, none of the critical care beds in the ICU are available for patients at the moment. Similarly, at Delhi government’s Deep Chand Bandhu hospital, all 75 ICU beds are fully occupied.

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Even top hospitals are fast running out of beds. At Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, only 47 ICU beds are available against a total of 450. “The occupancy of ICU beds has certainly gone up over the last few days. However, not everyone admitted in the ICU requires ventilator support. A patient moves on to the ventilator as the last resort and before that, we try to treat the patient with non-invasive techniques so that chances of survival can be increased,” said Dr B L Sherwal, medical director of the hospital.

In the private sector, top hospitals having more than 50 ICU beds and small nursing homes having a capacity of around 10 ICU beds have no space to admit a single Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit.

“The situation has turned extremely difficult for us. The number of calls seeking an ICU bed has gone up massively over the last one week. We are just trying our best to ensure no patient is left untreated,” said Dr P K Bharadwaj, director at Saroj hospital where all 53 ICU beds are occupied.

Over the last three weeks, the Delhi government has issued several orders to augment bed capacity in general and ICU wards in many government and private hospitals. In the latest order for private hospitals, 19 have been directed to reserve 80% of their ICU beds and 82 to reserve 60% for Covid-19 patients. A total of 1,398 ICU beds have been earmarked for Covid patients in these 101 private hospitals.

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