Amid a record surge in Delhi’s daily COVID-19 tally, the number of severely ill coronavirus patients is increasing in the national capital, where all ICU beds with ventilators are full in the city’s biggest and most prestigious private hospitals.
Currently 66 per cent, or 825 out of a total 1,244, of Delhi’s total ICU beds with ventilators are occupied, shows this morning’s data on Delhi government’s mobile app on all Covid-related information – Delhi Corona.
Max Healthcare, Fortis, Apollo and Batra are among the biggest private hospitals in Delhi. According to the app, all the 84 ICU beds with ventilators in these facilities were occupied at 8am this morning.
Government hospitals also facing very heavy caseload of severely ill patients, with only few beds ICU-ventilator beds now vacant.
At the country’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences-New Delhi only 5 out of 50 ICU beds with ventilators were available. The situation was worse at Safdarjung – Delhi’s largest government hospital – with only 1 bed out of 54 vacant, while only 11 out of 200 ICU-ventilator beds were available at the 900-bed Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, a Covid-only facility.
Delhi recorded 5,664 new Corona cases in the last 24 hours. This was the fifth consecutive day that Delhi recorded over 5,000 cases, after a week of recording 3,000-4,000 cases in a day.
In this backdrop, the number of Covid patients with severe symptoms has doubled in the past few days, doctors have said.
Medical experts and Delhi government have said the worsening air pollution in the national capital – 40 per cent of which is because of stubble burning – is contributing to the spike in coronavirus cases.
At a recent high-level meeting with Union Health Ministry officials, the Delhi government had blamed pollution, besides falling temperature, office clusters and increased mobility amid the festival season, for the Covid surge.
Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain dismissed reports of a third wave of coronavirus infections in Delhi, and maintained that the surge was because of immediate testing of close contacts, which has doubled from 6-7 earlier, and tighter contact tracing.
Mr Jain, who himself fought off Covid-19 in July, has also compared masks with vaccine and said people should not venture out without one.
Hospital beds are filling up fast in the backdrop of a report by the National Centre for Disease Control which said the city may see up to 15,000 daily cases in the winter out of which nearly 3,000 every day would need to be admitted in a hospital.