2/3rds of Covid beds in Delhi hospitals vacant

Currently, there are 15,244 Covid-19 beds across government and private hospitals, of which 4,502 were occupied as on Saturday evening.
An additional 1,000 beds are available at the field hospital in Dhaula Kuan built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
An additional 1,000 beds are available at the field hospital in Dhaula Kuan built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 12, 2020 02:25 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By, New Delhi

The number of people in the city hospitalised with Covid-19 has been declining consistently over the past week, with the number of beds occupied dipping below the 5,000-mark on four consecutive days.

This means over two-thirds of beds in Delhi designated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients remain vacant, as on Saturday.

Currently, there are 15,244 Covid-19 beds across government and private hospitals, of which 4,502 were occupied as on Saturday evening. An additional 1,000 beds are available at the field hospital in Dhaula Kuan built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


The last time the number of people in the hospitals was as low was on June 10, when Delhi had been recording between 1,000 and 1,500 new cases a day. The daily new case count shot up to 3,947 on June 23, but has significantly lowered, especially over the past week.

The government, however, has no plans to de-escalate the preparations made for Covid-19 treatment.

“We cannot start de-escalating preparations made for Covid-19 right now even though the number of howspitalisations has gone down. In many places across the world — even in Mumbai — the number of cases has gone up after showing a decline. We have to stay alert,” said a Delhi government spokesperson.

However, hospitals have put any further expansions on hold. “Only about a third of the beds in the AIIMS Trauma Centre and Jhajjar campus are currently occupied, and there is no need for more. The burns centre will not be converted to a Covid-19 hospital for the time being,” said Dr DK Sharma, medical superintendent of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The hospital has 1,250 beds in its cancer centre at Jhajjar and 260 beds in the trauma centre on ring road earmarked for Covid-19 patients. Currently, just over 400 patients are admitted to both, Dr Sharma said.

The number of admissions started going down at the hospital 10 days ago. The highest number of active cases that the hospital had was just over 600 mid-June.

At the 2,000-bed Lok Nayak hospital, Delhi’s biggest Covid-19 facility, the number of admissions have gone down from about a 100 a day 10 days ago to about 50 to 60 in the last 10 days. “The number of cases has certainly gone down, but the cases we are getting are more serious ones, where the patient is semi-conscious or is already on life-support. This means more and more people are staying in home isolation rather than coming to hospitals. However, whether or not to start other services is a decision that has to be taken by the government,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak hospital.

Experts also agreed that it would be premature to scale down the number of Covid beds. “I visited two private hospitals in the city as a part of the committee observing Covid-19 patient care and found that 50% of the beds were empty. It is encouraging to see that the number of new cases and hospitalisations are going down, but it is too early to shut down these facilities. The government should review the situation again in a few weeks to examine the trend,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, vice-chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. He chaired a committee set up by the Delhi government in June that estimated infrastructure needs to treat Covid patients.

The committee had said there would be 100,000 cases by June-end, which would consequently necessitate at least 15,000 beds.

Another member of the committee Dr Arun Gupta, president of the Delhi Medical Council, said, “The number of people hospitalised in the city is consistently going down by 200 to 300 every day. This is very encouraging, but the government cannot lower their guard yet. In countries like China, Spain and US the number of cases has risen after a decline.”

Assuming the initial trends of the sero-surveillance data to be true, he said, Delhi is a long way away from herd immunity.

“There were reports that there is a 15% prevalence of the antibodies against Covid-19 in Delhi. This is not enough for herd immunity, which can protect those who are uninfected. Besides, we don’t even know whether the antibodies are enough to prevent a second infection — studies have shown that antibody levels are lower in asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms. Plus, we also don’t know how long the antibodies last in a person. The infection is spreading in the other parts of the country and there is a possibility of resurgence in Delhi,” said Dr Gupta


    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.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • TV actress Chethana Raj's family alleged that she died due to negligence by a private hospital in Bengaluru. (Source: English Sakshi)

    Kannada TV actress Chethana Raj dies at 21 after plastic surgery goes wrong

    Kannada TV actor Chethana Raj has died after complications from a cosmetic surgery she had undergone at a private hospital in Bengaluru's Rajajinagar. The 21-year-old actor's family alleged she died due to negligence by Dr Shetty's Cosmetic Centre where she had undergone the surgery. Local media reports suggest that fluid had accumulated in her lungs, causing her to become breathless. However, there was no ICU available at the cosmetic hospital she got operated in.

  • The mangled remains of the Force Trax Cruiser after it rammed into a truck near Audhi village in Haryana’s Rewari district on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

    5 of family returning from Haridwar killed in accident

    Five members of a family, including two women, were killed and 12 others were injured when the multi-utility vehicle (MUV) they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck on the Delhi-Jaipur highway early on Tuesday, police said.

  •  (HT PHOTO)

    Cyber fraudster dupes naval official

    A fraudster duped a naval officer of 1.25 lakh by sending him an SMS saying that his account would soon be blocked as he had not updated his Know Your Customer details. To update the details, the officer clicked the link in January. Since the complainant was out working on a ship, he was unavailable to record his statement for five months. A First Information Report was later registered against the unidentified fraudster.

  • The allegations are of making appointments at Haryana State Warehousing Corporation in an illegal and arbitrary manner when senior Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka (in photo) served as its managing director 12 years ago. (HT file photo)

    Punjab and Haryana high court stays Khemka’s arrest in Panchkula case

    The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday stayed the arrest of senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a case registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act in Panchkula. The FIR was registered on the complaint of the managing director of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation, Sanjeev Verma, on April 26 at the Sector-5 police station in Panchkula.

  • Punjab farmers want to carry out paddy transplantation from June 10 instead of June 18. They also want the fee charged for increasing the power load to be decreased by the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

    Farmer leaders meet Punjab CM over new paddy sowing schedule

    Members of 23 farmer unions of Punjab gathered at Amb Sahib Gurudwara in Phase-8 in Mohali on Tuesday morning to march towards Chandigarh as part of their protest against the paddy-sowing schedule announced by the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government. Also read: Farmer unions in Punjab slam wheat export ban All Mohali-Chandigarh borders, including the Yadavindra Public School roundabout, have been sealed as a precautionary measure since Monday night.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 17, 2022