Anticipating a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, hospitals have started preparations to boost infrastructure and hire manpower to accommodate patients. Earlier this month, a high-level expert committee led by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul had said city hospitals should prepare for 15,000 daily cases owing to a spike in respiratory illnesses with winter setting in along with Covid cases.
On Sunday, the city reported 3,299 new cases and 28 fatalities, taking the total count to 3,31,017 and the death toll to 6,009 in the capital. There are 23,292 active cases in the city, out of which 5,034 are hospitalised and 13,742 under home isolation. The city has 15,704 beds earmarked for Covid patients, out of which almost 68% are vacant.
At the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, work is on to augment bed capacity. “With the change in weather, we are expecting a surge in the number of daily admissions due to Covid-19 as well. We already have 500 beds, and the plan is to expand it to 650 within a fortnight. We have placed an order with the PWD to purchase more beds. We have also started the process of hiring more manpower,” said hospital medical superintendent Dr BL Sherwal.
Dr R S Rautela, medical director of GTB hospital, said: “We already have 1,500 beds dedicated for Covid-19 patients. There are enough ICU beds, oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators at the institute. We will be requesting the government to add more doctors and healthcare workers.”
The expert committee, in its report submitted to the Delhi government, had listed three reasons which may lead to a surge in cases. “Winter months that make respiratory illnesses severe; patients may come from outside from Delhi in large numbers; patients coming from distant areas are likely to be get more serious. In addition, with festival gatherings, there could be a sudden rise in the cases,” the report stated.
As per data uploaded on the government’s Delhi Corona App, there are 1,261 ICU beds with ventilators, out of which 540 are vacant at the moment. There are 1,528 beds earmarked for non-Covid patients, out of which 1,129 are occupied.
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