More Covid patients in Delhi hospitals after two-week lull

Clinicians in Covid-19 wards and hospital administrators say the spike in the number is both because hospitals are choosing to admit at-risk patients at an early stage of infection to save lives, and an increase in the number of patients from other states getting tested and treated in Delhi.
With over 1.3 lakh recoveries, 90% of those who were diagnosed with the infection have recovered, shows government data.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
With over 1.3 lakh recoveries, 90% of those who were diagnosed with the infection have recovered, shows government data.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 11, 2020 02:39 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Hospitalisation from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Delhi have stayed above 3,000 since Thursday after registering a steady decline in the two preceding weeks, shows data from the daily health bulletins released by the Delhi government.

Clinicians in Covid-19 wards and hospital administrators say the spike in the number is both because hospitals are choosing to admit at-risk patients at an early stage of infection to save lives, and an increase in the number of patients from other states getting tested and treated in Delhi.

With over 1.3 lakh recoveries, 90% of those who were diagnosed with the infection have recovered, shows government data.

“Over 90% of Corona patients in Delhi have now recovered. Only 7% cases are active now. Slowly and steadily, the people of Delhi are defeating Corona. #DelhiModel,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Monday.

More than 3,000 people with Covid-19 have been hospitalised in Delhi over the past five days -- the number had stayed below 3,000 for 11 days with the exception of July 29, when 3028 people were in hospitals. On July 28, 2,775 people with Covid-19 needed hospitalisation, the data shows.

On Monday, 3,115 Covid patients were in city hospitals. This accounted for 30% of the total active cases or those still living with the infection. The rest of the patients are either admitted to Covid Care Centres or are in home isolation.

This proportion has been on the rise since the first week of July when on average 21% of the active cases needed hospitalisation.

“We are admitting people early on and taking them into the intensive care units (ICUs) before they start developing complications like multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The referrals from other smaller centres or non-Covid hospitals are also happening in a timely manner. This has resulted in better outcomes for the Covid-19 patients,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, of the 2,000-bed Lok Nayak hospital, which is Delhi’s biggest Covid-19 centre.

This could be one of the reasons for increase in the number of hospitalisations in the city, even as the number of active cases has remained around 10,000 for two weeks.

Another reason for the increase in the number of admissions is the influx of patients from the neighbouring states. “We have started getting patients from Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and other parts of the NCR over the last week or so. Earlier, inter-state travel was restricted and we used to receive almost no Covd-19 patients from these areas,” said Dr Kumar.

This is a trend observed by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences as well.

“Yes, there has been an increase in the number of admissions, but not too much – at the trauma centre the numbers have gone up to about 160 from the average of 120. I don’t think it is worrying but we need to keep our guards up. The numbers could be driven up by patients from neighbouring states being referred here or coming here over the last 10 days, which had almost stopped with restrictions on borders, difficulty in travelling, etc,” said Dr DK Sharma, medical superintendent, All India Institute of Medical sciences (AIIMS) Delhi.

Earlier, the Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday had said that about 35% beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 in Delhi are occupied by patients from other states.

The number of hospitalisations in Delhi had peaked at just over 6,200 in the last week of June. The government had worked to ramp up the bed capacity by converting some government hospitals to Covid-19 only, asking all big hospitals in the city to reserve 20% of their bed capacity for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, linking hotels to hospitals, and creating temporary field hospitals with the help of the armed forces.

“The increase in the hospitalisation rate is a very positive sign. I think people are now coming forward. Earlier, they were scared of going to hospitals and preferred to remain home unless absolutely necessary. This also shows that the protocols have become well-established and receptive – patients are no longer being referred from hospital to hospital or to other places to get tests etc,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital.

“The other reason could be that patients from other states have started to come here for treatment. I have said it time and again that the travel restriction for patients from other states should be eased, especially now that so many beds are lying vacant in Delhi hospitals. We can help patients from UP and Haryana in a big way. The admissions are likely to go up as the number of cases is on the rise across the country,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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