Delhi: 40% beds at pvt hospitals kept for Covid – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: All private hospitals and nursing homes having more than 50 beds were on Tuesday ordered by Delhi government to reserve 40% of their total admission capacity for Covid-19 patients.

The order, a copy of which is with TOI, states that the decision has been taken in view of an exponential increase in the positivity rate (from 2.44% to 8%) in the last four days (from December 31 to January 4). The daily cases and admissions have also gone up significantly.

According to the bulletin issued by the Delhi government health department, 5,481 new Covid-19 cases were recorded on Tuesday, which was the highest since May 16. Three deaths were also confirmed. The positivity rate, which stood well below 1% until December second week, has gone up to 8.37%.

Doctors said the positivity rate was likely to increase further as the Omicron variant was known to be highly transmissible and had immune-escape properties.

“The new variant causes severe symptoms in a very small subset of patients affected by it. However, our worry is that if the absolute number of cases are very high and the spike is too sharp, hospitals may still get overwhelmed,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, director, internal medicine at Max Saket. He added that they were already seeing a sharp rise in demand for consultations over the past week.

Till December-end, Delhi had around 3,000 active cases of Covid-19. In the last four days, it has gone up to 14,889.

The latest data shows 531 people, including some suspected cases, are admitted in the city’s hospitals. Of them, 308 are mild/asymptomatic, but there are around 168 patients who need oxygen support. Fourteen others are on ventilator support. There are at least eight patients admitted at Lok Nayak Hospital on oxygen support.

“Omicron is not the common cold. While some reports show a reduced risk of hospitalisation of Omicron compared with the Delta variant, there are still far too many people infected, in hospital sick and dying from both variants. We can prevent infections and save lives now,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation’s technical lead on Covid-19, stated in a tweet on Tuesday. This was in an apparent reference to many people playing down the perceived threat of the Omicron variant.

Several studies had shown that patients suffering from the new variant, which was first detected in South Africa and had since spread to several countries, mostly caused mild symptoms.

However, epidemiologists said it was too early to conclude anything like this. “Many people are still unvaccinated and there are others who have comorbidities. These people are at higher risk to develop symptoms and some of them may even require hospitalisation. We need to be fully prepared to tackle any potential crisis,” said Dr Vinay Aggarwal, former president of Indian Medical Association.

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