Almost nine out of 10 beds for Covid patients in seven government Covid-only hospitals are vacant following a dip in admissions over the last two weeks. At present, 3,024 Covid patients are currently admitted to hospitals across the capital, while 5,244 are under home isolation. According to sources, administrations of Delhi government hospitals have communicated to top officials to gradually reopen medical facilities for non-Covid patients. However, the Delhi government said restarting other services in Covid hospitals has not been discussed yet.
At present, 5,202 out of a total 6,057 beds at the seven hospitals — Lok Nayak, Guru Teg Bahadur, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality, AIIMS (Trauma centre and its Jhajjar campus), Deep Chand Bandhu, Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra and Burari hospital — are vacant. These hospitals, reserved for Covid patients when cases in Delhi were on the rise, were running close to full capacity till June.
The pressure has also eased at the two biggest government hospitals, Lok Nayak and GTB, which have a bed capacity of 2,000 and 1,500. At Lok Nayak, 1,666 beds are vacant. Similarly, GTB has 95 patients admitted.
At the 265-bed AIIMS Trauma Centre, more than half the beds are vacant. Speaking to The Indian Express last month, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had said the city should start focussing on increasing non-Covid care facilities.
The institute is also planning to restart a few non-Covid trauma services. “The number of admissions has significantly gone down over the last few weeks. We are considering the possibility of opening up some facilities in the Trauma Centre for non-Covid trauma patients,” Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of AIIMS, told The Indian Express.
Dr B L Sherwal, medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital, said: “The decision to start non-Covid services will be taken by the Delhi government. Since the pressure on the hospital has eased over the last few days, most beds are available.” The 500-bed hospital has 61 patients admitted.
The situation is similar in private hospitals. According to data shared on the Delhi Corona app, 29 small private hospitals and nursing homes converted into Covid facilities are vacant. Dr Arun Gupta, member of a Delhi government panel formed to assess medical infrastructure for Covid-19, said: “I feel that the government should ease norms, especially for private hospitals that have been converted into Covid facilities… expenses are mounting as most beds are vacant now.”
On Thursday, the city reported 1,299 cases, taking the tally to 1,41,531. The death toll increased to 4,059 with 15 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. With a recovery rate of almost 90%, the city has 10,348 active cases.
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