This is the first time the government has released detailed nation-wide data on Covid patients needing critical care from oxygen to ventilators, to throw light on how grave the second wave of coronavirus is.
As of May 7, India had an active caseload of Covid cases standing at 37.23 lakh, out of which 1.34 per cent (49,894) are with ICU support, 3.7 per cent of the patients (1,37,768) need continuous medical oxygen, and 0.4 per cent (14,521) are on ventilators, said central government data.
The latest numbers were shared by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan at a meeting on Covid situation in the country with ‘high-level’ Group of Ministers. This is the first time the government has released detailed nation-wide data on Covid patients needing critical care from oxygen to ventilators, to throw light on how grave the second wave of coronavirus is.
The data, moreover compares it with the first wave that started almost the same time last a year and finds that about 40,000 patients required oxygen, 23,000 were admitted in ICU, and 4,000 required ventilators.
The active caseload during the peak of the first wave on September 18 last year was 10.17 lakh, a 3.65 times growth in number. The number of people on ventilators is 3.68 times more than in the first wave, and the patients requiring oxygen 3.44 times that of the first wave, said the data accessed by The Indian Express.
Although the number of patients seeking critical care has increased by more than three times, it is not commensurate with the rise in the active caseload during the period. The shortage of medical supplies from ICUs to hospital beds, oxygen cylinders are the result of the overwhelming numbers and not because of the severity of the symptoms during the second wave compared to the first.
The data released by the Health Minister also states that total 4.88.861 patients (2.23 per cent) required ICU beds, 9,02,291 patients (4.12 per cent) were given oxygen support and 1,70,841 (0.78 per cent) required ventilators since the epidemic started in India. The data also states that 93 per cent of the Covid-19 infected people recovered from the infections without hospital admission or any kind of critical care.
Detailing about the vaccination drive, 53.25 lakh vaccine doses will be “supplied to the states soon.” The Centre has also asked state governments to set aside 70 per cent of the vaccines through the central government route for administration of the second dose.