The Delhi government's data shows that the beds assigned especially for COVID patients in the hospitals are largely empty.
Delhi: Amid a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases, the number of hospital beds for covid patients has also seen a significant drop. This comes after the contrasting situation in early May when the national capital ran out of medical facilities, liquid medical oxygen, hospital beds and even doctors to treat COVID-19 patients. Such was the situation that patients were not only denied basic treatment but were also sent back home through the hospital’s main door. However, some of these hospitals have started admitting patients post COVID related complications.
The Delhi government’s data shows that the beds assigned especially for COVID patients in the hospitals are largely empty. Out of 27,284 beds, 1037 are occupied. Out of these, 930 occupied in the ICU or are on ventilator support while the remaining 107 are in wards with most of the patients on oxygen support.
Senior Delhi government official familiar with the hospital admissions, said that most people usually feel well enough to be discharged within 10-15 days compared to those who are comparatively much sicker who are admitted in ICUs. The new admissions in the hospital recorded are very low. But the patients who were in the ICU or on ventilator support admitted three to four weeks ago are still admitted in the hospital, he added.
At Lok Nayak Hospital, the city’s biggest COVID dedicated facility, 159 patients are still admitted where 60 are in the ICU and 51 are on ventilator support. The number of new admissions of COVID patients is down to around 4-5 per day, said Dr Suresh Kumar, Director, Lok Nayak Hospital. He added that currently we are in a situation where anybody in need of an ICU bed is given one immediately without any delay as we don’t have a shortage of beds. The patients in the ICU are the ones who are more severely affected, and that’s why their recovery will also take longer. Several patients in the hospitals who were admitted 3-4 weeks ago and are still in the ICU. One patient has been in the hospital for eight weeks now.
As cases started to decline considerably, the temporary Covid care facilities were also shut down in February. Hospitals were allowed to reduce the number of beds reserved for Covid patients and start admitting non-covid patients. But this time, the government has no plans to cut the number of beds for COVID patients. Even though most of the temporary COVID care are largely empty, they would not be dismantled. Not for now at least. We need to be ready for COVID third wave as and when it comes. There’s no harm keeping the facilities ready beforehand. This is the plan we are on at, said the government official.
On Monday, Delhi recorded 259 new Covid cases and four deaths taking the tally to 24,965 deaths so far. The total number of recovery cases as of Monday stands at 285.