However, active cases in Delhi are only around 10% of the total cases whereas nationally the figure is 24%. In June-end, when the Covid outbreak in Delhi was at its peak, active cases had touched 28,000. Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS, told TOI that the rise in active cases in Delhi could spur further spread of the disease. “Also, the demand for Covid beds is likely to go up even more in the coming days,” he said.
80-90 admissions at Lok Nayak daily
On Friday, Delhi recorded 2,914 new cases, the highest single-day spike in 70 days, taking the total tally to over 1.85 lakh. The toll in the city mounted to 4,513 with 13 more fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours.
One of the major changes in the Covid management strategy of the state government in the recent past has been increase in testing. Delhi conducted 36,219 tests — 8,488 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat and 27,731 rapid antigen — in the past 24 hours, officials in the state health department said.
“Increased testing has certainly led to identification of more Covid-19 cases. But the rate of infection has also gone up, possibly due to increased mobility and lack of social discipline,” the AIIMS director said. He added that if enforcement of behavioural changes, such as wearing masks in public, wasn’t implemented strictly, the crisis could get bigger in the coming days.
In June, when daily coronavirus cases in Delhi had touched 3,000, people had to struggle to get Covid beds. Due to this, the government mandated private hospitals — both small and big — to reserve at least 20% of their capacity for Covid-19 patients in addition to increasing the capacity of its own hospitals. This, taken with the reduction in active cases, stabilised the situation.
However, once again, hospitals are saying they are flooded with requests for admission. “We are getting 80 to 90 new admissions for Covid-19 daily over the past few days. In July, this number had reduced to less than 30,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital. He added that unlike earlier, most patients seeking admission these days are sicker and require ICU care. AIIMS is also witnessing a similar trend.
“The demand for beds has also gone up because a number of patients from neighbouring states are rushing to Delhi for Covid treatment,” said Dr D S Rana, chairman, board of management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He added that in their hospital, 55% of the patients admitted for Covid-19 are from outside Delhi.
Overall, data shared by the hospitals on the Delhi Corona app showed 4,855 (34%) out of 14,151 Covid beds were occupied in city hospitals on Friday at 10pm.
The occupancy of ventilator beds and ICU beds without ventilators was 47% and 59%, respectively. The number of ICU beds with ventilators available at AIIMS Delhi and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals stood at five and three, respectively. The state of availability of ICU beds at bigger private hospitals was even worse.
Max Smart Saket, Apollo, Fortis Vasant Kunj and Aakash Healthcare, among others, didn’t have a single ICU bed with ventilator support available. A total of 25 hospitals mentioned on the Delhi Corona app didn’t have ICU beds without ventilator support available. This included Lady Hardinge Medical College, which is a central government-run facility, and 24 top private hospitals.
Watch Covid-19: Active cases in Delhi rise 90% in a month