Occupancy of Covid-19 beds fell below the 5,000-mark on Tuesday evening, for the first time in close to a month, official data shows.
While the number of ICU and ventilator beds in city hospitals has gone up over the past two weeks, the number of patients being admitted has also dipped. On Tuesday, a total of 4,885 people remained admitted in hospitals, while 10,201 beds were unoccupied. Of these, close to 1,800 are admitted in government facilities while others are in private hospitals. Occupancy in most small clinics and nursing homes has remained low.
An assessment of occupancy carried out by the Delhi government shows that the weekly new bed occupancy rate — the difference between number of patients admitted and discharged — has been dipping for the past five weeks, after peaking in the first week of June. Where there were 1,664 more patients admitted than discharged in that week, between June 29 and July 5, 698 more people were discharged than admitted.
On Tuesday, 2,008 new Covid-19 cases were reported. The city has seen 1,02,831 cases so far, of which 25,449 are active. In the past 24 hours, 50 people have died , taking the total toll to 3,165.
“Delhi, with its dense population, has seen a spurt in cases; we have already crossed the 1-lakh mark. To doctors and the government, however, it has become clear that the section that needs the most care is the one displaying severe symptoms. Now that we have more ICUs, we are being able to cater to these patients well. At the district level, officials are taking care of patients in home isolation. News from hospitals is encouraging as there aren’t as many new admissions,” said a senior government official who did not want to be named.
The government, meanwhile, reversed its July 4 order to de-link three hotels from hospitals because of low occupancy. Only 25 out of 900 hotel rooms requisitioned were occupied. Similar requests by other districts have also been rejected, officials said.
“The number of beds in hotels or private clinics will not be reduced because of low occupancy. Coronavirus can be unpredictable. We are in a comfortable position right now but if cases peak suddenly, it will be tough to arrange beds at the last minute,” said an official.
Another official said district officials have been told to make sure capacity-building is not hampered because of complacency: “We faced a bad situation in the first week of June and want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.Our foot cannot come off the pedal at this time.”
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, meanwhile, visited the 500-bed Covid care facility being built in the Commonwealth Games Village. The facility, built in six days, will be ready to accept patients starting Wednesday, he said.
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