Updated: June 28, 2021 9:19:49 am
With Covid cases in the city on a steady decline, the number of hospitals beds occupied by patients has also dipped. However, Covid patients in the ICU and on ventilators now far outnumber those in general wards — with or without oxygen support.
According to Delhi government data, out of the 27,284 beds set aside for Covid patients in hospitals, 1,037 are occupied. Of these, 930 are either admitted in the ICU or are on ventilators. The remaining 107 are in wards, most of them on oxygen support.
As cases in Delhi rose rapidly in April, hospitals in the city ran out of beds. Many people were turned away from the gates as hospitals neither had enough liquid medical oxygen, nor doctors to treat them.
Said a senior Delhi government official, who tracks hospital admissions, “The way the disease progresses, means that most people usually feel well enough to be discharged within 10-15 days. However, those who are sicker and admitted in ICUs take much longer to recover. Right now, new admissions in hospitals are very low, but many of those who were admitted three to four weeks ago and were in the ICU or on ventilators are still admitted.”
At Lok Nayak Hospital, the city’s biggest dedicated Covid facility, 159 patients are still admitted. Of these 60 are in the ICU and 51 are on the ventilator.
Hospital director Dr Suresh Kumar said that the number of new admissions is down to around 4-5 per day.
“We are in a situation now where if anyone needs to be admitted to the ICU, we have no shortage of beds. Since patients in the ICU are the ones who are more severely affected, their recovery also takes longer. We have several patients who were admitted 3-4 weeks ago and are still in the ICU. One patient has been in the hospital with us for eight weeks now,” he said.
Before April, Delhi saw a Covid wave in November. The numbers, though, were far fewer than they were in April (peaking at over 28,000 cases in a single day).
As cases started to reduce, temporary Covid care facilities were shut down in February, and hospitals were allowed to reduce the number of beds reserved for Covid patients.
This time, the government has no immediate plans to cut the number of beds for Covid patients drastically. While most temporary Covid care facilities are nearly empty, they are not being dismantled.
“We are preparing for the third wave and need to be ready if and when it comes. There is no harm keeping the facilities ready and that is the plan at present,” the government official said.
On Sunday, Delhi recorded 89 new Covid cases and four deaths. However, 170 more cases from Tihar Jail, which were recorded over the past few weeks, were added to the case tally.
Sunday’s positivity rate was recorded at 0.12% and the total call fatality ratio stands at 1.7%.
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