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Opinion

Covid-19 in Delhi: Hospitalizations Peaking at 9,000; 88% full ICU beds

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The number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hit an all-time high on Tuesday, crossing the 9,000 mark for the first time, on a day when Delhi recorded fewer than 7,000 cases for three days in a row, mainly due to the fewer tests performed during the holiday season. .

As on Tuesday, 9,215 patients were admitted with the infection at various hospitals in the city. 6,396 cases were reported and just over 49,000 tests were performed on Tuesday – 32,431 of the rapid antigen and 16,600 of the most accurate RT-PCR tests, according to the daily health bulletin published by the Delhi government.

On average, 54,000 tests were conducted each day before Diwali.

With 99 deaths on Tuesday, Delhi reported more than 90 deaths for six days in a row. With these deaths, the seven-day average fatality rate (CFR), the proportion of people who die among those who test positive, reached 1.65%, the highest since early August. Total CFR, which had been on the decline, also edged up over the past four days and stood at 1.58% on Tuesday.

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At its peak, the number of hospitalizations reached 6,264 during the first increase in infections in June-July and 7,051 during the second increase in September. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said Monday that Delhi has already crossed the peak of the third wave of infections.

With the increase in hospitalizations, more than 55% of the total beds intended for treating Covid-19 patients were occupied on Tuesday night, according to the Delhi Corona app. However, the reason for concern is the number of ICU beds. More than 88% of ICU beds were occupied in hospitals Tuesday night.

“If the increase in the number of cases continues, there will be a crisis. This is because most of the ICU beds are already occupied. A positivity rate of 13-15% means that widespread transmission is occurring. And we have everything open besides the schools; the markets have been packed during the festive season, ”said Dr. Sanjay Rai, head of the department of community medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The current ICU capacity of just over 3,500 beds is likely to increase to 6,000 in the coming days. The army-run hospital in Dhaula Kuan will add 537 ICU beds, 45 central government hospitals, and the Delhi government will add 2,680 beds, mainly by reserving 80% of ICU beds in 33 large private hospitals.

“The kind of intensity of the pandemic can be dangerous to lives, livelihoods and the fabric of society. We as citizens have to play our role. If you look at Europe, their beds are being changed again, ”NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul said at a news conference Tuesday.

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He said Delhi had shown a “dramatic improvement” when it came to timely hospitalization of patients. “Initially, when the pandemic began, until approximately June, between 60 and 70% of deaths in hospitals occurred within the first 72 hours. Half of these deaths occurred within the first 24 hours after admission. In Delhi, there has been a dramatic change since then. We are still monitoring mortality, as it shows the efficiency of the system: mobilization of patients from home, ambulance service, access to beds and efficiency of treatment, ”said Dr. Paul.

Acknowledging that private hospitals had played an important role, he said the 10 inspection committees set up by the government should “improve coordination.” “Teams will inspect, see if there are gaps and address them, and wherever they need help, it will spread. They will also see if the patients and the family are satisfied, ”he said.

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