Photos: Cases pile on but hope keeps a Delhi COVID-19 hospital going

While infection rates from the virus have begun to fall in many countries, in India they are still rising sharply, with a peak yet to come. Concerns are rising about how the country of 1.3 billion with an overburdened healthcare system will handle the impending surge. Last week, Reuters was given exclusive access to Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, currently the largest such private COVID-19 treatment site in New Delhi, where some 200 patients are being treated for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, as a glimpse of how one section of the healthcare sector is engaging the virus.

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST 9 Photos
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A medical worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) takes care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi on May 28. While India eases a more than two-month long lockdown aimed at reining in the spread of the disease, the battle against the virus rages within its hospital system. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

A medical worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) takes care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi on May 28. While India eases a more than two-month long lockdown aimed at reining in the spread of the disease, the battle against the virus rages within its hospital system. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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A medical worker writes the name of a colleague on his PPE as they prepare to enter the Covid-19 ward at Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. India has recorded almost 191,000 cases and a little over 5,400 deaths due to the disease as of early June 1 according to the covid19india.org and worldometers coronavirus trackers. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

A medical worker writes the name of a colleague on his PPE as they prepare to enter the Covid-19 ward at Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. India has recorded almost 191,000 cases and a little over 5,400 deaths due to the disease as of early June 1 according to the covid19india.org and worldometers coronavirus trackers. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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Medical workers take care of a Covid-19 patient, in the ICU of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. “We are getting more and more people daily both in numbers and in the severity of disease,” Dr. Arun Dewan, the director of the hospital’s critical care section told Reuters. “We’re not seeing any end.” (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

Medical workers take care of a Covid-19 patient, in the ICU of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. “We are getting more and more people daily both in numbers and in the severity of disease,” Dr. Arun Dewan, the director of the hospital’s critical care section told Reuters. “We’re not seeing any end.” (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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A medical worker works with a Covid-19 patient admitted in the ICU to increase lung capacity using a spirometer. It is the first time in his 35-year-career that Dr. Dewan is battling a pandemic of this scale, he said, and while each day has been as struggle, he fears the worst is yet to come. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

A medical worker works with a Covid-19 patient admitted in the ICU to increase lung capacity using a spirometer. It is the first time in his 35-year-career that Dr. Dewan is battling a pandemic of this scale, he said, and while each day has been as struggle, he fears the worst is yet to come. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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Medical workers look at the chest scan reports of a patient in the ICU. The eerie calm in the hospital is broken only by the sound of machines beeping and patients coughing --most of whom are separated only by white curtains. Staff in heavy protective gear move around softly, speaking in murmurs. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

Medical workers look at the chest scan reports of a patient in the ICU. The eerie calm in the hospital is broken only by the sound of machines beeping and patients coughing --most of whom are separated only by white curtains. Staff in heavy protective gear move around softly, speaking in murmurs. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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A medical worker takes a break in area that was designated for neonatal care, but is now a command centre for Covid-19 cases. Until a few months ago the cries of babies would often fill this section. Now, posters of Winnie the Pooh and other cartoon characters beam down upon patients struggling to beat a deadly virus. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

A medical worker takes a break in area that was designated for neonatal care, but is now a command centre for Covid-19 cases. Until a few months ago the cries of babies would often fill this section. Now, posters of Winnie the Pooh and other cartoon characters beam down upon patients struggling to beat a deadly virus. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prays while in the emergency ward of Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. “Manpower will be the biggest challenge. We have reached the limit,” Dr. Dewan said, adding even as the toll rises, the wait list of patients is growing fast. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prays while in the emergency ward of Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. “Manpower will be the biggest challenge. We have reached the limit,” Dr. Dewan said, adding even as the toll rises, the wait list of patients is growing fast. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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Mortuary workers load the body of a person who died from the coronavirus disease into an ambulance.While medical staff work tirelessly to save as many lives as possible, scenes of loss also play out in the same facility. Mourning relatives looked on, as the body bag was loaded into an ambulance and taken away to a cemetery. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

Mortuary workers load the body of a person who died from the coronavirus disease into an ambulance.While medical staff work tirelessly to save as many lives as possible, scenes of loss also play out in the same facility. Mourning relatives looked on, as the body bag was loaded into an ambulance and taken away to a cemetery. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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However, there are small victories that keep the staff going. For Steena, a nurse in the ICU who only gave her first name, one such moment was when a 70-year-old woman recovered in recent weeks. “After seven or eight days, she was taken off a ventilator, and tested negative,” she told Reuters, sounding hopeful, before quickly turning to attend to yet another patient. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

However, there are small victories that keep the staff going. For Steena, a nurse in the ICU who only gave her first name, one such moment was when a 70-year-old woman recovered in recent weeks. “After seven or eight days, she was taken off a ventilator, and tested negative,” she told Reuters, sounding hopeful, before quickly turning to attend to yet another patient. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 03:00 PM IST
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