Amid Surge In Coronavirus Cases, Delhi Faces Shortage Of Covid-19 ICU Beds In Hospitals
Amid Surge In Coronavirus Cases, Delhi Faces Shortage Of Covid-19 ICU Beds In HospitalsDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images).

The availability of Covid ICU beds with ventilators at 39 private and a Central government-run hospital in the national capital has gone nil amid the massive surge in the novel coronavirus cases in the last few days, according to official data.

This reflects in the 100 per cent occupancy of ICU beds with ventilators in Delhi's biggest and most prestigious private hospitals. Meanwhile, very few are available in the national capital's government hospitals.

Central government-run Northern Railway Hospital and leading private hospitals such as Max, Indraprastha Apollo and Fortis hospitals showed full occupancy of the ICU beds with ventilators available for the Covid patients.

The figure stands around over 40 per cent of the total hospitals where such a facility is currently provided. As of now, 96 hospitals, including government and private-run, cater this facility in Delhi.

The data showed that most of the top private hospitals in Delhi had been fully occupied while government-run (central and Delhi) are running extremely low on the vacancy of ventilators beds in their ICU wards dedicated to Covid patients.

The online Corona Dashboard of the Delhi government showed that till Wednesday 5 am, out of 1,244 ICU beds with a ventilator facility (Covid), only 401 were vacant.

At Max hospitals at Shalimar Bagh (total 15 ICU beds with ventilators) and Shalimar Bagh (15), Fortis hospitals at Vasant Kunj (7) and Shalimar Bagh (5), Indraprastha Apollo Hospital (12), BLK Hospital (7), the vacancy showed nil.

At the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, a dedicated Covid-19 facility, out of the 200 ICU beds with ventilators, only eleven were vacant, according to the dashboard.

At the country's premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences, only three out of 50 ventilator beds were available. The situation was worse at Safdarjung - Delhi's largest government hospital - with only 1 bed out of 54 vacant, while only 3 out of 28 beds were available at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, the data showed.

Reacting to reports of a scarcity of the ventilators beds in Delhi, Union Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said that the Central government could provide additional ventilators if the demand arises.

"We have read reports of a crisis in private hospitals, but at present, we have received no demand for the ventilators from the Delhi government. However, if the demand arises, we are in a position to fulfil it adequately," stated Bhushan during a press briefing held on Tuesday.

Medical experts claimed that the concoction of non-adherence to follow Covid appropriate behaviour among people amid festivities, compounded by winter and the issue of air pollution, is pushing the caseload of the national capital to another peak.

The national capital on Tuesday (3 November) reported the highest single-day spike of 6,725 Covid-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 4,03,096.

Dr Ushast Dhir from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that the cases are bound to rise in coming days as well.

"Everything has been thrown open from weekly markets to restaurants & bars. People have forgotten about Covid-19 and mingling like there is no pandemic. If social distancing and basic protection like masking are not followed, the infection will never slow down," he said.

Dhir also said that the current caseload on the ventilators from the patients coming from and outside Delhi is almost in equal proportion.

Earlier, in September, when the occupancy of Covid ICU beds with ventilators reached an all-time high, the government and doctors cited the majority of the caseload coming outside Delhi.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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