With the possibility of a shortage in ICU beds and a rise in active Covid cases, the Delhi health department Saturday issued an order asking 28 private hospitals to reserve 80% of their total ICU or HDU beds for Covid patients.
“… In the recent past, there has been a surge in the number of Covid cases and it has been observed that majority of ICU beds in private hospitals are fully occupied. Therefore, to augment ICU bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, the hospitals… are directed to reserve 80% of their total ICU/HDU beds for such patients… with immediate effect,” reads the health department circular.
The capital saw 4,321 new Covid cases and 28 deaths on Saturday, taking the total cases to 2,14,069 and the toll to 4,715. Active cases have risen to 28,059, of which 15,371 are in home isolation while 6,294 are admitted to hospitals. As per the Delhi Corona app, 730 of 1,212 ventilator beds are currently occupied.
The private hospitals on the list include Indraprastha Apollo, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, and Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, among others. The circular reiterated that five private hospitals — namely Max Super Specialty Hospital (Saket), Fortis (Vasant Kunj), Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, MD City Hospital, and Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital (Pusa Road) — are Covid-only facilities.
Further, the circular stated that the hospitals listed are allowed to increase their total bed capacity up to 30% and are to be used for Covid patients only. It goes on to state that in hospitals where non-Covid patients have been admitted to ICU beds, they cannot be asked to leave immediately.
Only once patients have been discharged will the vacant beds be reserved for Covid patients. Previously, private hospitals with over 50 beds reserved a minimum of 20% of their total bed strength for Covid patients while certain hospitals were directed to reserve up to 40% of their bed strength for Covid cases.
The order was issued days after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal met with the heads of government and private hospitals and asked them to augment the bed capacity in ICUs.
Around 60% of ICU beds with ventilators and almost 69% of non-ventilator beds are occupied. Overall bed occupancy across hospitals is about 45%.
Saturday saw 60,076 tests being carried out, with the daily positivity rate at 7.19%.
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