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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Amid surge in cases, 90% Covid beds vacant in Mumbai

According to doctors, the patients who have been infected with Covid-19 recently are mostly mildly and moderately symptomatic and do not need hospitalisation.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
Updated: December 29, 2021 7:47:25 am
For the last two consecutive days, Mumbai has been contributing 55 per cent of the state's total tally of cases. (Representative image)

Although the number of active Covid-19 cases in Mumbai have increased by 150 per cent in the last 28 days — from 1,904 on December 1 to 4,768 on December 27 — nearly 90 per cent of the beds reserved for Covid-19 patients are vacant.

According to doctors, the patients who have been infected with Covid-19 recently are mostly mildly and moderately symptomatic and do not need hospitalisation.

After the initial flattening of the pandemic curve by the end of October, the city has once again turned into the epicentre of a Covid-19 surge, hinting towards a possible third wave. For the last two consecutive days, Mumbai has been contributing 55 per cent of the state’s total tally of cases.

However, BMC data shows that till Monday, 13,789 of the 15,278 Covid-19 beds were vacant in the city. Of the 1,986 ICU beds, only 305 were full. Similarly, of the 1,157 ventilator beds, only 186 were occupied. Among the 6,790 beds with oxygen support, 491 were full.

In private hospitals, of the 3,671 beds, only 731 were occupied.

At present, only 7 to 10 per cent of the Covid-19 patients in Mumbai are requiring hospitalisation. Dr Harshad Limaye, senior consultant (infectious diseases), Nanavati Max Hospital, said, “About 90 per cent of patients have mild symptoms. The rest have severe symptoms. Most patients with severe symptoms are senior citizens and need oxygen support along with traditional treatment.”

Dr Harish Chafle, senior consultant (pulmonology and critical care) at Global Hospital, said, “Oxygen requirement is very minimal, Some patients are requiring only 2 liter per minute.”

Most patients are acquiring the infection due to violation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, said doctors. “Most patients contracted the infection by going to family functions, holidaying or attending mass gatherings or by visiting malls. Also, once a group member contracts infection, all others test positive after two to three days,” said Dr Chafle.

Doctors said the most patients are from the upper socio-economic strata, staying in high-rise buildings. Among the 24 wards in Mumbai, a ward that covers the areas around Fort, has been recording the highest seven-day growth rate — 0.18 per cent — which is higher than the city’s average of 0.09 per cent.

Dr Avinash Supe, in charge of the Covid-19 death committee, said this sudden surge in mild Covid-19 infections would help increase herd immunity.

“The death rate is minimal and the infection is only causing mild symptoms like fever and nausea. So, though cases have increased, the severity is less. But the next two to three weeks will be essential,” he said.

Similarly, of the 84 patients detected with the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, 44 have already been discharged. “As all the Omicron patients are mildly symptomatic, they stay in hospital for five to seven days before testing negative. So far, we haven’t witnessed any severity among such patients,” said Suresh Kakani, BMC Additional Commissioner.

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