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At least 6.9 lakh of patients, including 1 lakh ICU cases, may require oxygen; the numbers can go up | India News


BENGALURU: As emergency calls for oxygen shortages continue to come in from hospitals in cities, towns, and even districts across the country, estimates based on the Center’s plan for oxygen show that to date, nearly 6.9 lakhs of patients across India may be in need of oxygen, even more than 1 lakh that may need to be treated in ICU.
While not all of these would need oxygen beds at the same time, the experts TOI spoke with say it would be prudent to plan the oxygen supply with the upper limit in mind. While the Center and the states have been conducting a mapping exercise to determine the oxygen requirement, cases of states reporting insufficient allocation have become common in the last fortnight or so.
According to the Center, for an estimate of the required oxygen supply, the empowered group-1 (EG-1) has categorized patients into three categories: 80% of the cases that are mild and do not require oxygen; 17% of the cases that are moderate and can be treated in beds outside the ICU and 3% of the cases that are severe cases of the ICU.
For some, the required oxygen could be as low as 10 liters per minute (LPM), while for others it could be as high as 20 LPM or more, but 20% of active cases would need oxygen. The calculation of the number of people ( see graph) in need of oxygen is based on the Eg-1 formula at the end of May 3, when India had more than 34.4 lakh of active cases.
The actual number of people in need of oxygen could be a little lower or higher, as the situation is dynamic and based on multiple variables, including poor home supervision of cases in many cities or the lack of healthcare infrastructure that delays medical intervention leading to mild to moderate cases deteriorating to severe cases. There are also other unaccounted for factors.
The Center has said: “On the basis of this categorization, the oxygen requirement of the states is being calculated on the basis of active cases, which is around 8,462 MT. Based on the trend in active cases, the “case duplication rate” is calculated for each state, which implies the number of days that Covid cases are likely to double. The number of active cases is projected based on the doubling rate and the oxygen requirement is calculated. These projections are changed daily based on real-time change. ”
Given the dynamic situation, this number could increase. Show this: As of May 3, there were already 12 states with more than 1 lakh of active cases: Maharashtra (6.5 lakh) and Karnataka (4.4 lakh) had the highest active case load, and seven other states had active cases of more than 50,000 with three of them reporting more than 80,000.
While cases in Maharashtra and a few other states have started to decline marginally, a low recovery rate, as is the case during a massive spike, means that it would take at least 14 to 21 days for the active case load to drop. Comparatively, states like Karnataka and others continue to report a high number of cases that add significantly to their active case load, which may offset the decline in Maharashtra.

Times of India