In Delhi, only 8 Covid ICU beds vacant in 7 pvt hospitals

In Delhi, only 8 Covid ICU beds vacant in 7 pvt hospitals thumbnail

Written by Astha Saxena
| New Delhi |

Updated: May 27, 2020 12:30:23 pm

In Delhi, only 8 Covid ICU beds vacant in 7 private hospitals There are 10 private and six government hospitals authorised to treat Covid patients in the capital. (Representational Image)

Seventy-four of 82 ICU beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients in the city’s seven private hospitals are occupied at the moment. At six government hospitals, on the other hand, only 111 of 348 ICU beds for novel coronavirus patients are occupied.

As the case tally in the capital continues to rise — 412 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday, taking the total to 14,465 — several accounts have emerged of severely ill people being unable to get admitted to ICUs in private hospitals.

There are 10 private and six government hospitals authorised to treat Covid patients in the capital. The Indian Express looked at data from seven private hospitals — Sir Ganga Ram’s Kolmet and City hospitals (15 of 20 ICU beds occupied), Indraprastha Apollo (9 of 9), Max Smart Super Speciality Saket (29 of 32), Fortis Shalimar Bagh (3 of 3), Batra (10 of 10) and Maha Durga Charitable Trust (8 of 8). Data from three other hospitals — Cygnus Orthocare, Saroj Medical Institute and Khushi hospital — has not been made available by the government.

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To add to its bed strength, the Delhi government recently asked 117 nursing homes and private hospitals to set aside 20% of their existing strength for Covid patients.

According to the Delhi government, there are 7,223 active coronavirus cases in the city, of whom 2,092 are availing treatment in 13 Covid-designated (seven private and six government) hospitals while the rest are either at Covid health centres, care centres or under home isolation. Among those admitted to hospitals, 185 are admitted to the ICU and 27 are on ventilator support. So far, 288 people have succumbed to the disease.

While there is a 90% occupancy for ICU beds in private hospitals, the crunch is less in government hospitals at the moment. In the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak hospital, which is also the biggest medical facility with 2,000 beds for Covid patients, there are 64 beds in the ICU. Of them, 23 were occupied until Tuesday evening. The hospital has 125 ventilators, and the government is in the process of adding more machines.

In a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday, Health Secretary Padmini Singla informed that there are 4,462 beds across the capital’s hospitals for Covid patients. The LG was further informed that there are 429 ICU beds, 343 ventilators and 2,632 oxygen supported beds available in the Covid-designated hospitals.

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At the Jhajjar and Delhi trauma centre facilities of AIIMS, 555 patients are admitted — 550 confirmed and five whose reports are awaited. “There are 17 patients in the ICU and most are on oxygen support. Not many patients require to be shifted to a ventilator. I believe around seven-eight patients are on ventilator support in the ICU,” said Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of AIIMS. The hospital has 18 beds on the ground floor ICU of the trauma centre. “We can open another ICU with 60 beds if required,” said Dr Sharma.

With a bed capacity of 190 for Covid suspected/positive patients, RML has 100 patients at the moment. “We have 14 ICU beds for Covid confirmed patients and 14 for suspected patients. All are full,” said Dr Minakshi Bharadwaj, the medical superintendent.

To meet the demand in the coming days, the health department has also ordered 30,000 PPE kits (to add to the 50,000 in stock), 3.5 lakh N95 masks, 28 ventilators and 435 oxygen concentrators.

Addressing a virtual press conference on Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Of the total 3,829 beds in government hospitals, 3,164 have oxygen support. We are focusing more on oxygen beds as severe patients have respiratory trouble and it is important to maintain oxygen levels in their body. We have 250 ventilators in government hospitals and only 11 are used as of now. There are 72 ventilators in the private hospitals and 15 are occupied.”

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