The capital Sunday recorded 121 new Covid deaths — the fifth time in the last 11 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark. This pushed the death rate based on the last 10 days data to 1.69%, above the national fatality rate of 1.46%. While the death toll stands at 8,391, as many as 6,746 new cases were seen, taking the total number of cases to 5,29,863.
As per the data released by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, Delhi is among the top of 10 states and UTs where 77% of new cases and 76% of new deaths have been reported.
Meanwhile, the number of patients under home isolation in Delhi has reduced by 6.85% in the last two weeks while bed occupancy in the same period has gone up a little — a direct indicator of the rising pressure on the healthcare system with an increase in the number of hospitalisation of Covid-19 cases.
Between November 9 and 21, home isolation cases dipped from 25,321 to 23,587. On November 9, the city had 16,195 beds for Covid patients, out of which 81,810 (50%) were occupied. However, as of November 21, of 17,242 beds, 9,522 (55.22%) are full.
Last Wednesday, top experts from AIIMS and other medical institutes across the country held a discussion on managing Covid patients in home isolation as a part of the ‘National Combined Grand Rounds on Covid-19’.
Highlighting the importance of home isolation, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria emphasised on how physicians need to look at warning signs: “Home isolation has become a routine practice. Evaluating the patient for the first time is extremely crucial; however, developing strategies to look for red flags are very important.”
At present, those under home isolation are provided a pulse oximeter by the Delhi government. As per protocol, a team from each district calls the patient to enquire about his/her health, and to understand if they are facing any problems.
According to doctors, a majority of patients (81%) have mild disease and are fit to be treated at home, and only 19-20% require hospitalisation, including 5-6% who require ICU care. “A doctor needs to stay in touch with the patient regularly. A large number of patients are now managed in home isolation or via tele consultations… We, as physicians, need to understand the challenges behind home isolation and warning signs of when to shift the patient to a hospital,” said Dr Guleria.
Discussing several case studies, experts spoke about the limited role of anti-viral drugs during home isolation. “For instance, data for prescribing remdesivir is insufficient and people in home isolation should not be suggested it… Unfortunately, it is commonly practiced by medical professional in smaller cities,” said Prof Dhruv Chaudhary, head, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, PGIMS Rohtak.x
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