Covid-19: Delhi likely to scale down reserved beds after ensuring no surge in infections when schools, colleges reopen

Covid-19: Delhi likely to scale down reserved beds after ensuring no surge in infections when schools, colleges reopen

Delhi is likely to scale down the number of beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients, sources told The Indian Express. At present, the National Capital has earmarked 15,000 beds for Covid-19 patients across hospitals.

Despite a decline in cases from the third week of January and a positivity rate of below 5% over the past 10 days, the Delhi government has so far shied away from releasing beds for other ailments.

A senior government official told The Indian Express that restrictions were being lifted and schools and colleges were reopening. The government wants to wait and watch for an uptick in cases. The de-escalation process is likely to begin next week in a phased manner.

There were a little over 3,000 beds for treatment of the infection in government hospitals and temporary facilities such as at Ramlila Maidan. Almost all beds in private hospitals were being used for other ailments with few Covid-19 admissions following the second wave of infections in April-May 2020.

With the increase in the city’s dengue cases in October and November, 20% of the 30% beds reserved for Covid-19 in private hospitals were diverted for its treatment.

The bed strength in government hospitals was increased to 4,300 and private hospitals were directed to reserve 40% beds during the first week of January. Beds across hospitals were increased to over 12,000 by the second week of January and 14,000 by the end of the month, by which time cases had already started going down.

Even at the peak of the third wave, with cases surging to the same level as the second wave, bed occupancy was low. Hospitalisations peaked at 2,734 on January 19, but hospital occupancy remained at less than 20%.

Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain said after the Delta-driven second wave that the government had prepared for over 35,000 hospitals and step-down health centres. He said less than 15,000 beds were released because hospitalisations were low.

Despite private hospitals being told to reserve 40% beds for Covid-19, many have started using those for other ailments.

A private hospital official told The Indian Express that they had learned over two years how to quickly convert wards for Covid-19 and could go back to treating patients in case of a surge. For now, however, others are in need of treatment.

Check the source here –Source, Financial Express.