Delhi gets more dengue beds as infections spike, 723 cases recorded so far

The statement added that the government reduced the number of beds earmarked for Covid-19 from 30% to 10% at private hospitals in the city
The number of beds in government hospitals such as Lok Nayak was reduced from 700 to 400. (Picture for representation only/HT Archive)
The number of beds in government hospitals such as Lok Nayak was reduced from 700 to 400. (Picture for representation only/HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 22, 2021 12:55 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Only 221 persons with dengue have been admitted to Delhi’s hospitals, 25% of whom are from neighbouring states, the government said on Thursday.

In a press release, the government announced it increased the number of beds for dengue patients, in view of the rise in cases of the mosquito-borne viral infection, while reducing the number of beds earmarked for patients with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in hospitals across the Capital.

“The dengue situation in Delhi is completely under control. There is an adequate number of beds in the hospitals of Delhi. Not only that, patients from outside Delhi are also being treated in Delhi hospitals. At present, 25% of the total dengue patients present in Delhi hospitals are from outside Delhi,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain in the press release on Thursday.

He added, “Things are still the same as they were in 2019. The number of coronavirus cases was high in 2020. People were at home. Because of this, dengue cases came down rapidly. But this year, the situation is expected to remain the same [as it was in 2019].”

The statement added the government reduced the number of beds earmarked for Covid-19 from 30% to 10% at private hospitals in the city, and reduced the number of beds government hospitals such as Lok Nayak from 700 to 400. The rest of the beds will be utilised for the treatment of patients with dengue, other vector-borne diseases, and fevers, said the press release.

Delhi recorded 723 cases and one death due to dengue till October 16 this year, the latest data available so far.

The Capital had recorded one death due to dengue last year, two deaths in 2019, four deaths in 2018, 10 deaths each in 2017 and 2016, according to official data. In 2015, Delhi witnessed a big dengue outbreak that affected nearly 16,000 people and killed 60.

Meanwhile, Delhi has been reporting around 20 to 30 cases of Covid-19 every day since the beginning of October.

At the height of the second wave of the pandemic, the Delhi government arranged nearly 30,000 beds in various categories--isolation centres, regular wards, oxygen wards, ICUs. There were over 20,000 hospital admissions at the peak of the wave between April and May. At the time, all 2,000 beds in Lok Nayak Hospital were being used to treat Covid-19 patients, the government said.

Now, normal services have resumed at Lok Nayak and all other government hospitals.

According to the government, only 25% of the fever patients being admitted to hospitals are testing positive for dengue. The rest are recovering within a couple of days and are being discharged.

According to experts, during 2015’s dengue outbreak in the Capital, type 2 dengue associated with a severe drop in platelet count and internal bleeding, was in circulation. For the next couple of years, the milder serotype 3 of the virus was in circulation. According to experts, this year in Delhi, a milder serotype 1 is in circulation along with serotype 2.

There are four serotypes of the dengue virus based on the difference in the antigen (the part of the virus that attaches to human cells and against which antibodies are created) – types 1 and 3 are the milder serotypes while types 2 and 4 are associated with severe disease. Patients suffering from serotypes 1 and 3 display symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache, and pain behind the eyes. Type 2 is associated with more severe disease, leading to a drop in platelet count, inability to form blood clots, and internal bleeding. Type 4 is associated with the leaking of fluids from the capillaries, leading to a drop in blood pressure and circulatory shock (not enough blood reaching the organs).

“Dengue is cyclic in nature; it increases every three or four years and usually when a new serotype is in circulation. The four serotypes of dengue do not protect against each other; so when many people have been infected with one, other serotypes start circulating. Also, unlike Covid-19, wherein a previous infection protects against severe disease the second time, a second dengue infection is likely to be more severe. Those diagnosed with dengue must also keep a check on their platelet count after they get a fever, because that is usually when the count dips,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital.

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