Few beds left for Covid-19 patients in Delhi even as govt app shows 50% availability

Government guidelines mandate that only those with severe coronavirus disease -- an elevated respiratory rate of 30 or more (normal is 12 to 20 for an adult) or oxygen saturation of less than 90% (normal is 95 to 100%) -- would be admitted to the hospital.
Medical Staff in PPE shift a person suspected of Covid-19 infection from the OPD at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on June 7, 2020.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Medical Staff in PPE shift a person suspected of Covid-19 infection from the OPD at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on June 7, 2020.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 09, 2020 03:54 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnonna Dutt

Most hospitals in the city – both public and private – do not have beds left for patients with coronavirus disease (Covid-19), especially those with severe infection in need of oxygen or ventilator support.

Yet, even as people with Covid-19 struggle to find free beds in hospitals, the Delhi government app shows that nearly half of the 8,821 beds available in the city are vacant. As per the app, 4,487 beds are occupied.

Only two of the 15 private hospitals across Delhi that HT called said they had beds readily available. One of the hospitals – Saroj Superspeciality hospital in Rohini – informed that they had started admitting Covid-19 patients only from Monday.

Saroj hist social media stardom Monday after a circular issued by the hospital saying the minimum bill for a patient, irrespective of duration of treatment, would be Rs 3 lakh, going up to Rs 8 lakh for an intensive care unit bed.

The hospital said it was an old circular. When HT called the hospital reception and asked for Covid-19 charges, the hospital said an advance of R 1.5 lakh would be required.

Batra hospital in Mehrauli said only one bed was available. However the app, last updated Sunday afternoon, showed there were 11 vacant beds.

Two other hospitals, Holy Family in Okhla and Park hospital in Vishnu Garden said all their beds with ventilator or oxygen support were occupied. One of the hospitals had 14 beds and the other 22 beds, according to the ‘Delhi Corona’ app.

And NKS hospital in Gulabi Bagh and Primus hospital in Chanakyapuri said they would call whenever a bed became available.Primus hospital called back within a couple of hours asking for the patient ID .

Two hospitals Max hospital in Saket and Sir Ganga Ram hospital could not be reached and the rest said they were out of beds.

At government hospitals

HT also got in touch with five big government hospitals to see whether they had beds available for Covid-19 patients. Only the two Delhi government-run hospitals – Lok Nayak and Guru Teg Bahadur – said that the patient could be brought immediately to the hospital emergency.

The person manning the phone at Lok Nayak, however, said “Please bring your patient here only if they are critical. The hospital admits only severe cases and if the patient is fine, they will be asked to go back.”

Lok Nayak hospital is the biggest Covid-19 treatment facility in Delhi with 2,000 beds, which is followed by 1,500 beds in GTB hospital. Currently, there are 900 Covid-19 patients admitted to Lok Nayak hospital and 178 in GTB, which was designated as a Covid-19 hospital only on May 30.

Government guidelines mandate that only those with severe disease -- an elevated respiratory rate of 30 or more (normal is 12 to 20 for an adult) or oxygen saturation of less than 90% (normal is 95 to 100%) -- would be admitted.

Safdarjung hospital advised that the situation of beds was very dynamic, only a few are available at any given time. “You have to come here with the patient and check whether it is available. The app does not always show it accurately,” said the person manning the phone at central-government-run Safdarjung hospital. The app showed three beds were available at the hospital.

At All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the screening centre said, “Please do not bring your patient here. All the beds are full, it would be better if you try going to other hospitals. Do not go to Ram Manohar Lohia as their beds are also full. You should try Lok Nayak or GTB hospital.” According to the Delhi Corona app there were 145 beds available at AIIMS Delhi.

At RML hospital, the operator said: “Please come with all the patient details and meet the medical superintendent. There are no beds available currently.”

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021