Updated: August 22, 2021 7:14:33 am
In recommendations shared with the government last month, the group tasked with the Covid emergency strategy has suggested preparing for 23 hospitalisations every 100 positive cases in a future surge.
This estimation, by the Empowered Group 1 headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul, is higher than the projection it had made in September 2020 ahead of the second wave, when it calculated that about 20% patients with “severe/ moderately severe” symptoms would require hospitalisation.
As per a source, the recommendation to set aside a larger number of hospital beds is based on the pattern seen during the second wave. During its peak, on June 1 for example, when the active caseload across the country was 18 lakh, 21.74% cases required hospitalisation in the 10 states with the maximum cases. Of them, 2.2% were in ICU.
In its latest projection, the group is taking into account a peak of four-five lakh cases per day, and has recommended that two lakh ICU beds be readied by next month — including 1.2 lakh ICU beds with ventilators, 7 lakh non-ICU hospital beds (of them 5 lakh oxygen-enabled), and 10 lakh Covid isolation care beds.
The projections, the source said, are based on the calculation that for every 100 positive cases of Covid, 23 would need hospital care (2.5 ICU care and 20.5 non-ICU), while 77 would require isolation (30 in institutionalised settings, and 47 at home).
In its September 2020 report, months ahead of the second wave, the group had estimated that of 100 positive cases, 20 would need hospitalisation, with 3 requiring ICU care. Of the remaining 80 asymptomatic cases, it estimated that 50 would need isolation at Corona Care Centres for seven days while the rest could stay at home.
The source said the group’s calculations then were based on the utilisation of hospital beds in Covid hospitals and health centres observed till the end of August 2020, during the first wave.
In the first wave, out of every 100 positive cases, 20 required hospitalisation, 2.43 of them needed ICU care; while 80 needed isolation care, 55 of them at Covid care centres.
However, given the increased utilisation of beds during the second wave, the group has revised its assumptions upward now.
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