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Hospital bed occupancy increases in Delhi, but not at same pace as deadly April 2021 wave

According to the available data, Delhi last saw over 14,000 active cases at the beginning of the second wave on April 4, after a significant gap. At that time, a total of 2,975 hospital beds were occupied.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
Updated: January 5, 2022 7:57:22 am
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Over the past 15 days, occupancy of Covid beds in the city has increased 2.5 times, even as the number of active cases has gone up almost 28 times.

Delhi’s active case count on Tuesday stood at 14,889.

When the second wave started in the city in April 2021, the percentage of hospitalisations was higher.

According to the available data, Delhi last saw over 14,000 active cases at the beginning of the second wave on April 4, after a significant gap. At that time, a total of 2,975 hospital beds were occupied.

At present, Delhi has 9,042 beds set aside for Covid patients. Of these, 531 were occupied by Covid positive and suspected patients. This number was 197 a fortnight ago.

According to a senior health department official, the fact that a significant portion of Delhi’s adult population has been vaccinated is a factor behind the lower hospitalisation rate this time. “We have seen that vaccinated people across the world face milder symptoms in cases of breakthrough infection. Also, the symptoms in patients infected with the omicron variant are milder, as is seen across the world. These patients are also healing faster,” the official said.

However, the number of patients on ventilator support doubled in 24 hours. Seven patients were reported to be on ventilator support on Monday and this number rose to 14 on Tuesday.

With the number of people admitted in hospitals inching up each day, the Delhi government has ordered all private hospitals and nursing homes in the city with a total bed capacity of 50 beds or more to reserve at least 40% of their total bed capacity (40% of beds in wards and 40% of ICU beds) for Covid patients.

A similar order was issued during the deadly second Covid wave. After the number of cases subsided in August, the orders were withdrawn.

According to senior health department officials and doctors, most patients admitted to hospitals at present have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

Among those who tested positive on Tuesday was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “I have tested positive for Covid. Mild symptoms. Have isolated myself at home. Those who came in touch with me in last few days, kindly isolate yourself and get yourself tested,” he tweeted.

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