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Delhi breaches 7,000-mark in daily Covid count, ICU crunch now felt in govt hospitals as well

On Friday, the capital recorded 7,178 cases and 64 deaths, taking the count to 4,23,831 and the death toll to 6,833 — 42,187 cases were logged in the last week.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | November 7, 2020 4:00:38 am
At 2,612, Covid death toll in Delhi highest in NovemberA total of 1.78 lakh cases were seen in November. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

With Delhi breaching the 7,000-mark in daily cases for the first time, the crunch in Covid ICU beds with ventilator support, so far seen at the city’s private hospitals, is now being felt even at government facilities.

On Friday, the capital recorded 7,178 cases and 64 deaths, taking the count to 4,23,831 and the death toll to 6,833 — 42,187 cases were logged in the last week. And out of 1,250 ICU ventilator beds across private and government hospitals, 912, or almost 73 per cent, are occupied.

Data available on the Delhi government’s Corona app shows that not a single ICU bed with a ventilator is available at Safdarjung, Deen Dayal Upadhaya and Sardar Patel hospitals. These are among the 14 government hospitals with ICU beds earmarked for Covid patients in the city.

At Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, of the 28 ICU ventilator beds, only two are lying vacant; at the AIIMS trauma centre, five beds are available out of 50; and at Lady Hardinge Medical College, nine beds are available of 17. All three come under the Centre.

“In the last 48 hours, there has been a sudden spike in the number of patients getting admitted to hospitals. The situation is quite grim at the moment — even the severity of the disease has gone up in some cases. Currently, we are running at maximum capacity but have an expansion plan, which has been submitted to the Centre. If the need arises, we can add 25-30 more beds for Covid patients,” said Dr N N Mathur, medical director, LHMC.

The situation is similar at Delhi government-run hospitals. At the biggest dedicated Covid facility, Lok Nayak, 19 ICU ventilator beds are available out of 200. There are 128 ventilator beds in the ICU at GTB hospital, out of which 11 are vacant.

“For the last one week, we have been getting 80-90 patients admitted on a daily basis, and approximately 50 per cent of them are shifted to the ICU. We had increased the number of ICU beds to 430 two weeks ago and, if required, will add more,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak hospital.

Observing a crunch in the ICU facilities, the Delhi government Friday augmented the number of Covid beds in eight state-run and 14 private hospitals in an order issued by the Health department. Overall, more than 1,100 beds have been added to the existing strength. Critical care facilities in 48 of 82 private hospitals are running full, as per the Delhi government’s app.

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