Amid Rising Delhi Covid Cases, Kejriwal to 'Reserve More Hospital Beds for Patients'

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Tuesday that the number of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients is being increased at a few hospitals in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital. Delhi reported 992 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday with a positivity rate of 2.70 per cent, while four more people succumbed to the pathogen in the city.

"In view of COVID situation developing in Del, no. of normal and ICU beds reserved for COVID is being increased in a few hospitals. This will improve bed availability. We r keeping close watch and will take all steps necessary. There is nothing to worry. But pl follow all precautions," Kejriwal tweeted. The COVID-19 tally in Delhi on January 1 was over 6.25 lakh, and the fatality count was 10,557.

The number of daily cases had started to come down in February. On February 26, the month's highest daily count of 256 cases was recorded. However, the daily spike began to rise again in March, and it has been steadily increasing over the past few days.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain had last week dismissed any possibility of imposing another lockdown in Delhi, saying it was not a solution to check the spread of the coronavirus that is again surging rapidly. The minister had said there were enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients and it could be increased if the need arises.

Meanwhile, government data showed that fourteen private hospitals in Delhi have run out of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients amid a resurgence in daily cases in the national capital. Of the 787 ICU beds with ventilators in government-run and private hospitals, 278 were already occupied by6 PM on Tuesday, according to the city government’s “Delhi Corona” application.

Also, 379 of the 1,229 COVID-19 ICU beds without ventilators are full. Shree Agarsain InternationalHospital (15 ICU beds) and Jaipur Golden Hospital (6) in Rohini, and Max SS Hospital (5) and Fortis Hospital (5) in Shalimar Bagh are among the private hospitals where not a single ICU bed with ventilator is vacant.

All ICU beds with ventilators were also full in Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka, Indian Spinal Injury Centre in Vasant Kunj and Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Punjabi Bagh by 6 PM. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital (24) in Sarita Vihar, Balaji Action Medical Hospital (21) in Paschim Vihar, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Punjabi Bagh and Max Super Specialty Hospital in Shalimar Bagh have all their ICU beds without ventilators occupied, the data showed.

According to the Health Bulletin issued on Tuesday, 1,584 of the total 5,784 hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in Delhi are occupied. Earlier in the day, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said there were enough ICU beds available in government-run hospitals.

“All ICU beds in a few private hospitals are occupied. The number will be increased soon,” he told reporters. Delhi reported 992 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday with a positivity rate of 2.70 per cent, while four more persons succumbed to the pathogen, the Health Department said.

Officials said the low number of cases can be attributed to fewer tests conducted on Monday on account of Holi. The city had recorded 1,904 cases on Monday, the highest in around three-and-a-half months.

Delhi had recorded 1,881 fresh cases on Sunday, 1,558 on Saturday, 1,534 on Friday, 1,515 on Thursday, 1,254 on Wednesday and 1,101 on Tuesday — the first time since December 24 that the number of cases crossed the 1,000 mark. The positivity rate was 2.77 per cent on Monday, 2.35 per cent on Sunday,1.70 per cent on Saturday, 1.80 per cent on Friday, 1.69 per cent on Thursday,1.52 per cent on Wednesday and1.31 per cent on Tuesday.

Delhi’s caseload stood at over 6.25 lakh on January 1 and the total fatalities were 10,557. The number of daily cases had started to come down in February. On February 26, the month’s highest daily count of 256 cases was recorded.

However, daily cases started rising again in March and have been steadily increasing over the past few days. Last week, Jain had ruled out the possibility of another lockdown being imposed in Delhi, saying it was not a solution to check the spread of coronavirus.

Health experts and doctors have attributed this “sudden rise” in cases to people turning complacent, not following COVID-appropriate behaviour and “assuming all is well now”. The next two-three months could be challenging, they said, adding that the situation can be kept under control if vaccination is opened up for more people and COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to.