April 6, 2021 1:55:17 am
To make more space for the rising number of Covid-19 patients, the Delhi government Monday ordered 54 private hospitals and 11 government hospitals to increase the number of beds in general wards and ICUs.
A total of 1,540 beds have been added to the existing strength in the 11 government hospitals while 2,598 general beds have been added in the 54 private hospitals, as per the order. ICU beds with ventilator support have been augmented to 630 at the government hospitals, while 719 ICU beds have been added at private hospitals.
“In order to augment the bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, and at the same time to also ensure that treatment of non-Covid critical patients is not compromised, 54 large private hospitals having bed strength of 100 beds or more are directed to reserve at least 30% of their ICU bed capacity or double the occupancy as on April 5, whichever is higher, and 30% of their ward bed capacity or double the occupancy as on April 5, whichever is higher, for Covid-related treatment and display the revised Covid bed capacity (ICU & Ward) on Covid-19 data management portal, immediately,” stated the order issued by RN Das, medical superintendent, nursing home cell of the Delhi government.
This is the second such order in the last five days. On March 31, the Delhi government had added 230 ICU beds and 842 general beds in 33 private hospitals in light of the rise in daily cases.
“Occupancy of Covid ICU and ward beds in the 33 private hospitals has markedly increased and the overall occupancy of Covid ICU beds and Covid ward beds in these hospitals on April 5 is 78% and 68%, respectively as per Covid-19 data management portal,” the order further stated.
At present, there are 6,880 beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients, out of which 3,126 are occupied. Critical-care facilities in several private hospitals are running full, as per the Delhi government’s Corona App.
With the resurgence in daily cases, hospital administrations are once again pulling back staff from non-Covid areas to deploy them in Covid wards.
Talking about the transition phase, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said “This is the biggest challenge we are facing in most hospitals. When the caseload decreased, we converted a lot of Covid areas into non-Covid areas. So, a lot of our hospital infrastructure and human resources went to non-Covid areas. There were many patients waiting for routine surgeries. Now, because of the surge, our Covid areas have started seeing huge admissions. We are pulling back people from non-Covid areas back into Covid areas. The challenge now is to strike a balance between Covid and non-Covid sections. For example, trauma cases cannot be restricted. During the lockdown, we had fewer trauma cases because of low traffic. Now traffic has returned to pre-Covid times.”
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