Coronavirus infections in Delhi rising faster than its health infra

By: |
September 28, 2020 8:20 AM

Delhi Coronavirus cases: An FE analysis of state-wise health facilities shows the active cases have been rising faster than state’s addition to health infrastructure; while active cases have risen 2.3-times in the last month, the corresponding increase in Covid beds was just 1.12-times.

The positivity rate over the past week has hovered between six and seven per cent.The positivity rate over the past week has hovered between six and seven per cent.

Covid-19 cases in Delhi: Delhi may seem to be on top of the battle against the coronavirus — the state still has 56% of its hospital facilities available. But given how hospital bed occupancy has nearly doubled in the last one month, it cannot afford to be complacent. An FE analysis of state-wise health facilities shows the active cases have been rising faster than state’s addition to health infrastructure; while active cases have risen 2.3-times in the last month, the corresponding increase in Covid beds was just 1.12-times.

In Mumbai, while the case count increased 1.42 times between August 27 and September 24, the number of hospital beds went up by 1.1 times. Beds in the ICUs, on the other hand, had increased 1.3 times during the same period while ventilator capacity had increased 1.2-times.

But the situation is grim across other areas. Although corresponding data for Bengaluru is not available, daily data shows that government hospitals and medical colleges are operating near full capacity in the city.

Similarly, while the conditions in Pune are not as bad as they were a fortnight ago, on September 25 the city had only four of the available 524 ventilators ready for use. Moreover, only 10% of the 474 beds in ICUs were available.

Delhi has also worsened over the last fortnight. On September 25, as many as 825 of its 1,319 ventilators were occupied as compared to occupancy of 736 ventilator beds on September 14.

The increase in ICU beds occupancy was starker, as the number of occupied ICU beds increased to 1,286 as compared to 762 within a fortnight.

While cities like Delhi and Mumbai have the capacity to scale up infrastructure as per the requirement, once cases start rising, the situation would be much worse in rural areas.

CDDEP data shows that Bihar has only 1,543 ICU beds and 771 ventilators across private and public hospitals. Active cases in the state are one-third of the number in Delhi but if the caseload increases, then Bihar would not have enough infrastructure to deal with rising infections.

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