Only 148 (1.58%) of the 9,390 beds available at various hospitals for Covid-19 patients are occupied.

New Delhi: Despite the fact that Covid-19 cases are on the rise, the hospitals in Delhi are not overburdened. At Lok Nayak Hospital (LNJP), over 98% of the beds are vacant, with only 2% to 3% of the beds being occupied. According to various sources, around 129 Covid patients have been admitted to Delhi hospitals, with 3,336 in home isolation. Only 148 (1.58%) of the 9,390 beds available at various hospitals for Covid-19 patients are occupied.
Most of the patients getting admitted show moderate Covid symptoms. The Sunday Guardian visited Lok Nayak Hospital on Tuesday and spoke to several officials to understand the ground situation. “The number of occupied beds keeps on changing. As of today, out of 250 beds, 11 are occupied. Two children, aged 7 and 12, are admitted, and the rest are adults. Most of the children are showing general symptoms of breathlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, and so forth,” Medical Director of LNJP, Dr Suresh Kumar, told this correspondent.
“Currently, there are nine adults, but the numbers may change; there is a possibility that tonight or tomorrow, more people may get admitted. There is a patient with cancer and he is Covid infected too. Most of the patients admitted here have moderate symptoms of Covid. Mostly, after five to six days, they get discharged. We do genome sequencing of every patient and, as far as we have observed, most of the cases are the sub-variant of Omicron BA.1,” Dr Kumar added.
Similarly, as stated by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of LNJP, currently, beds are available for Covid patients. “We are expecting that this wave is almost equivalent to the wave we saw during January and February. As far as we have observed, most of the cases are Omicron only. There are several patients who come here to get diagnosed with other diseases. However, when the report comes, we see that they are also infected by Covid; although they do not show any symptoms,” the CMO of LNJP told this paper.
However, when this correspondent visited the hospital, the majority of people were wearing masks within the wards, but several people sitting outside the hospital were not wearing masks. According to sources, at least two to three Covid patients arrive each day, and the number of Covid patients admitted to the hospital varies. As of Tuesday, 26 April, the board outside indicated the number of Covid beds was 700, the total number of ICU beds was 500, and the number of ICU beds occupied was 11.
The correspondent also spoke to a few doctors, who stated that the lack of Covid appropriate behaviour has led to an increasing number of cases. “The increase in the number of Covid cases is not unexpected. This may be a new wave. A new variant, XE, has also been reported in India, although no cases of this variant have been seen in Delhi. The second reason is the lack of Covid appropriate behaviour, so there is a need for caution but not panic,” Dr Neetu Jain, a senior consultant in pulmonology and critical care sleep medicine at PSRI hospital New Delhi told this paper.
“Since the people are not taking any precautions or following the Covid protocols, therefore, Covid cases have started increasing all of a sudden. Hardly anyone is wearing masks, and the gatherings have also increased. I have been hearing that several patients are getting Covid after being in a crowded or close gathering or so. There is a possibility that Omicron variants are causing a sudden uptick in cases, as we have seen that the upper respiratory tracts are becoming more infected. Fever lasts for three to four days. This wave could lead to a fourth wave as we have seen that many patients who have been vaccinated are also getting infected,” Dr Pritha, a consultant pulmonologist at Asian Hospital Faridabad, told this paper.
Speaking of precautions to be taken, Dr Pritha added, “We should not take it lightly as we can be a Covid carrier to the elderly population or immune compromised people. We need to keep following hand hygiene, wear masks and avoid close gatherings.”
On Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s directions, Delhi has prepared around 37,000 Covid beds and 10,594 Covid ICU beds. If the virus spreads, the government plans to add 100 oxygen beds to each of Delhi’s wards over the next two weeks. In such a case, the Delhi government wants to prepare 65,000 beds, ensuring that no one is left without a bed in an emergency. As of 29 April (Friday), the Health Ministry notified that the active caseload of India stood at 17,801 and the active cases stood at 0.04%. Around 3377 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, and the daily positive rate was 0.71%.