With Delhi reporting an uptick in the number of daily Covid cases, hospitals have started making arrangements to increase the number of ICU beds, as directed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Sources in the health department said hospitals have been asked to increase non-ventilator ICU beds that can provide oxygen support to patients.
Experts said availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen is an important prerequisite to manage moderate and severe cases of Covid. At present, 68% of non-ventilator ICU beds are occupied, according to the Delhi government’s Corona App.
Delhi government’s biggest Covid facility, Lok Nayak, has added 50 more beds in the ICU. “Earlier, we had 255 beds for critical care patients, which has been increased to 300. There are 200 ventilator beds and 100 non-ventilator beds. If the need arises, we can expand the ICU up to 400 beds,” said a senior doctor.
On Friday, the city recorded 4,266 new cases, having performed 60,580 tests in the last 24 hours. A total of 2,09,748 people have been infected with the virus so far, of which 1,78,154 (84.9%) have recovered. The death toll in the city mounted to 4,687, with 21 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has been recorded at 7.04%.
There are 26,907 active cases, out of which 14,571 are under home isolation and 6,031 are admitted to hospitals. Overall, about 43% of the beds earmarked for Covid patients are occupied at the moment.
“We are working out a plan to augment the number of ICU beds as suggested by the CM. Currently, we have 200 beds in the ICU and we plan to increase it to 500 if the need arises. We have the capacity and infrastructure to strengthen our critical care facilities,” said Dr B L Sherwal, medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital.
While government hospitals have initiated the process of adding more beds to the ICU, private hospitals say facilities are stretched already. A senior doctor from Fortis, Vasant Kunj, said “We are already running beyond the existing capacity. We will have to see how many more beds can be accommodated in the ICU.”
Dr D S Rana, chairman of board of Sir Ganga Ram hospital, said: “We have 117 ICU beds in our main hospital and the services have been stretched completely. We will have to see what can be done to increase beds.”
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