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Thursday, August 06, 2020

More than 10k Covid beds remain empty in Delhi

Over the past two weeks, more people have been discharged than admitted to hospitals. Between June 23 — when the highest number of patients were admitted — and July 12, there has been a 31% drop in admissions.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi | Published: July 13, 2020 1:59:14 am
delhi coronavirus cases, delhi covid cases, coronavirus cases delhi, delhi news, city news, indian express A health worker collects a sample of a man for COVID-19 test at a centre, in New Delhi, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra) 

The number of Covid patients admitted to hospitals in the capital continued to decline in Delhi, with the figure dropping to 4,315 on Sunday. Officials, though, are remaining cautiously optimistic, citing the example of countries that were on the right path until they saw sudden spikes.

Over the past two weeks, more people have been discharged than admitted to hospitals. Between June 23 — when the highest number of patients were admitted — and July 12, there has been a 31% drop in admissions.

On Sunday, 1,573 cases were reported, while 2,276 people recovered. There have been a total of 1,12,494 cases, of which almost 90,000 have recovered. Of the 19,155 active cases, 11,059 are under home isolation.

According to a projection made by a five-member committee on Covid-19 preparedness early last month, Delhi’s caseload was projected to touch 5.5 lakh cases by July-end. With the positivity rate declining, though, the number of cases has not increased as swiftly.

Despite almost 72% of hospital beds lying vacant in the city, officials said they are not planning to reduce the number of Covid beds any time soon. There are a total of 15,233 beds, of which 10,931 are unoccupied. Of these, 1,027 are ICU beds with ventilators, and 517 are unoccupied.

More capacity has been added in the form of a 1,000-bed hospital being maintained by DRDO, near Dhaula Kuan. Hotels attached with hospitals and smaller clinics have reported a very low occupancy rate, with the latter worried that till the time their establishments are treating Covid patients, non-Covid patients will not come for treatment.

“When the projections were made, the city’s doubling rate was around 12-13 days and the positivity rate was around 28-30%. We are relieved this is not the case anymore but we do not know enough about the virus yet to relax. A month ago, we saw a decline in countries where the disease started spreading rapidly a month before it did in Delhi. In Italy, for example, we saw a stabilisation a month ago but some countries are now reporting sudden spikes. We have 15,000 beds today based on the projections made at the time, and it is best to be ready for a spike if it comes,” said Dr Arun Gupta, one of the members of the state government’s Covid panel.

Delhi government officials Saturday had said that of the people in home isolation, only about 6% required hospitalisation at a later date. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted Sunday that oximeters — devices that measure oxygen saturation in blood — have proved to be a big safeguard for those under home isolation.

“Delhi has been able to minimise deaths of corona patients in home isolation through this suraksha kavach called pulse oximeter. If patients detect their oxygen is falling, they reach out to us for help. We immediately send oxygen concentrators to their home or take them to a hospital,” he wrote.

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