Only Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital is evaluating and treating patients detected with Omicron.
New Delhi: Despite the rising number of cases of Omicron in India, the national capital is completely equipped to tackle the pandemic; unlike during the second wave, the hospitals are fully prepared this time, as assured by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in a press conference. He has also confirmed that Delhi can tackle one lakh Covid-19 cases daily, only if the situation arises. In a press conference, he also assured that the government has created all facilities and infrastructure to conduct three lakh cases daily. Although most hospitals have begun to accept Covid-19 positive patients, only the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital or LNJP in Delhi is evaluating and treating the patients who have been detected with Omicron.
The Sunday Guardian investigated the LNJP hospital’s current situation in the wake of the Omicron rise. Several members of the staff were preoccupied with the patients, and the authorities were concerned about the current situation in Delhi and were keeping a close eye on the rising Omicron cases in Delhi.
The sources inside the hospital told this correspondent that the hospital had 72 Covid-19 patients till Tuesday. The staff are strictly vigilant of the evolving circumstances of the new variant and are taking admission of the suspected cases too. The doctors at LNJP hospital told this correspondent, “Since a patient may get serious anytime so we are strictly vigilant of the situation and are admitting the suspected cases too. We have enough beds and are treating several patients at the moment. Whenever we get any information on suspected Covid-19 cases of international travellers, we try to find out the details of the patients and information of the family along with the relatives. The ambulance service is prompt, and we are treating, as per the symptoms, even in the suspected cases of any variant of Covid-19. All patients who have been detected with Covid-19, particularly international travellers, are being treated and kept under monitoring. We keep patients under observation until they have completely recovered from their symptoms, and then we discharge them after ensuring that they are free of all Covid-19 symptoms.”
“There are currently 100 beds allocated solely to Omicron-detected patients. We have 16 cases of Omicron and we have already discharged 18 patients,” Dr Suresh Kumar, the Medical Director of LNJP hospital told this paper.
There have been certain reports on strike and protests by resident doctors over the delay of NEET-PG 2021. More than 5000 resident doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, LNJP, Lady Hardinge hospital, GTB hospital and RML hospital have joined in the protest. Although the strike has affected many patients, the circumstances have not affected the Omicron patients due to the lesser number.
Looking into the scenario, Dr Kumar said, “Currently, the doctors are on strike, so there are lesser doctors. Since the Omicron patients are lesser in number so it is not a big problem.”
Dr Kumar further added, “Most of the patients are showing mild symptoms such as fever, throat pain and so forth but 80 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic. We do have enough drugs for the symptomatic patients and we are treating the patients as per the symptoms, such as fever. However, unlike the delta variant, most of the Omicron patients are not requiring oxygen support as of now.”
While discussing the third wave, Dr Kumar said, “Now, people are less panicked. A few days back, people had stopped taking vaccines but due to the rising Omicron cases, people have now started taking vaccines out of fear. There is now no widespread alarm among the public, patients, or employees. If the third wave occurs, it will be due to an increase in Omicron cases.”
The Delhi government also built a 500-bed Covid-19 extension in Ramlila ground, Delhi, which is linked to the LNJP hospital. The Sunday Guardian also paid a visit to Ramlila Maidan to learn more about the situation. Inside the premises of Ramlila Maidan, only the doctors, staff and ambulances are allowed inside the hospital. The sources privy to the institution told this paper, “Although there was one case of Omicron, it is unclear if the person was discharged or not.” Most of the Covid-19 patients are referred from LNJP hospital and the restrictions and the safety equipment have been doubled.
The Sunday Guardian also went to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and discovered that it is currently not admitting any Covid-19 patients. The majority of patients are referred to LNJP Hospital.
More than 350 cases of Omicron have been reported in India. Experts in public health and government agencies are keeping a close eye on the Covid-19 situation. Several states, including Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and others, have seen an increase in Omicron instances. Maharashtra and Delhi were the main Omicron contributors in India, with 88 and 67 cases respectively.