Covid cases continued to surge in the capital, with 2,914 cases being recorded on Friday. The death toll rose to 4,513, with 13 more fatalities in the last 24 hours. This is the fourth successive day in September when over 2,000 new cases have been reported, and is also the highest single-day spike in 69 days. On June 23, the capital had reported the highest single-day spike until date with 3,947 cases.
With the rise in cases, officials said bed occupancy in ICUs had gone up, especially at top private hospitals. At present, 31 of 79 private facilities in Delhi that have beds and ICUs for Covid patients are running full, including Max Saket with 32 ICU beds with ventilators; Max Patparganj with 10; Indraprastha Apollo with 12; and Fortis Vasant Kunj with 7.
A government source said that about 70% of Covid patients admitted in ICUs of most top private hospitals are from outside the capital: “Close to 70% of beds in Delhi are still vacant. There are 131 Covid hospitals and, at present, only three are full. There’s no shortage of beds right now but an increasing number of patients from outside Delhi could emerge as a cause for concern. We have observed that ICU beds in a few top private hospitals are all occupied, with over 70% of patients admitted there from outside Delhi.” The Indian Express had on September 2 reported how critical-care facilities at top private hospitals were once again running full as the number of daily Covid cases were on the rise.
Some private hospitals said they have been receiving calls from patients in other states. “Over the past week, we have been getting queries from patients and their attendants from outside Delhi on ICU bed availability. Patients in need of critical care are approaching hospitals in Delhi as movement restrictions have been lifted. Unfortunately, we had to deny admissions to many patients as our ICUs are full,” said a senior doctor at Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj.
Dr P K Bharadwaj, chief executive director of Saroj Hospital, said: “Critical-care facilities are better in Delhi, and the government and private sector are working together to provide treatment for Covid patients. So, many patients are rushing to hospitals here but unfortunately, we can’t admit more as ICU beds are occupied.” The hospital has 10 ventilator beds in the ICU and all are full.
In June, when the capital was seeing a sharp rise in cases, CM Arvind Kejriwal had said the government will reserve beds only for Delhiites — a move overruled by L-G Anil Baijal, who said no one should be denied treatment on the grounds of being a non-resident of Delhi. Sources said of the 4,500 out of 14,000 Covid beds occupied by patients, 1,500 hail from other states like UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar.
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