As the number of Coronavirus cases surges in Delhi, the requirement of ICU beds in the hospitals in the national capital for COVID-19 patients may rise significantly. In the view of this possibility, the health department in Delhi has issued an order asking 33 private hospitals to reserve their 80 per cent of all ICU or HDU beds for patients infected with the Coronavirus. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that all hospitals were informed about it. “This has been done since issues were being faced with regards to ICU beds in some private hospitals. I also held a video conference over this and an order has been issued in this regard,” PTI quoted Jain as saying.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the majority of ICU beds in private hospitals are occupied and as the cases are increasing significantly, there will be a requirement for more beds. The hospitals have to allocate 80 per cent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients with immediate effect.
The report said that private hospitals in the list include Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Manipal Hospital, Indraprastha Apollo, and Max Super Specialty Hospital, among others. It is to note that Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital (Pusa Road), Max Super Specialty Hospital (Saket), Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, Fortis (Vasant Kunj), MD City Hospital are COVID-19-only facilities. The circular also noted that the hospitals are allowed to increase their bed capacity by up to 30 per cent which can be utilised by COVID-19 patients.
The beds will be reserved for Coronavirus patients as soon as they are vacant after the discharge of non-ICU patients. Earlier, private hospitals were asked to reserve around 40 per cent of their beds for patients with viral infection. The order had come after Arvind Kejriwal had met with heads of government and private hospitals for discussing bed capacity. The data from the Delhi government showed that 60 per cent of ICU beds with ventilator-support and 69 per cent of non-ventilator beds are occupied.
Meanwhile, the state government also directed government hospitals to increase their capacity for beds. In order to provide oxygen support to COVID-infected patients, the hospitals have been asked to arrange more non-ventilator ICU beds. While government hospitals have the capacity to add more beds, private hospitals are already running on full capacity and it may be difficult for them to add more ICU beds.