East Delhi's only civic hospital plans big for possible third Covid wave

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) From setting up a 10-bed ICU unit to dedicating 25 beds in pediatric department, Swami Dayanand Hospital, east Delhi's only civic-run facility, is planning big to tackle the anticipated third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 370-bed hospital caters to not just the population in east Delhi but also parts of Uttar Pradesh that neighbour the national capital.

'We are making all possible efforts in anticipation of the third wave, though we hope the situation doesn't worsen from here on. Swami Dayanand is East Delhi Municipal Corporation's only facility in the region and had played an important role during the second wave of the pandemic,' East Delhi Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal said on Tuesday.

The first and second waves had stretched the system to the limits, from hospitals to crematoriums, and so efforts are being made to ensure the scenario does not repeat, officials said.

Delhi had been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the oxygen supply shortage issue faced in April-May at various hospitals, having added to the woes.

Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22. On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths, according to the official data.

Hospitals, morgues and crematoriums had witnessed long lines of family members mourning over death of their loved ones to COVID-19. Visuals of mass cremation taking place in east Delhi's Seemapuri were heart-wrenching.

Despite fall in daily cases in the last several days, medical experts have cautioned that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was imminent.

'We have set up a 10-bed ICU facility and earmarked 25 out of the 70 beds in the pediatric department for Covid-19 patients, as children are likely to be more vulnerable in the third wave that is likely to happen,' hospital's chief medical officer Dr Gladbin Tyagi told PTI.

Tyagi, also the nodal officer for COVID-19 at the Swami Dayanand Hospital, said the learning from the challenges faced during the second wave will come in handy for tackling crises in future.

'As of now, situation is under control in Delhi, with cases and death count having fallen significantly, so, out hospital which caters to people of Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, will for the time being serve non-Covid patients mostly. But the moment cases rise again, our plan will come into force. Hence, we have made elaborate preparations in advance,' he said.

Though during the second wave, a lot of patients in serious condition were brought to this hospital, the recovery rate was above 75 per cent, the doctor said.

'Still, we don't want to leave nothing to chance as the next wave is anticipated,' Tyagi said.

About 20 fresh graduates from nursing school have been planned to be brought on board the team to fight the pandemic, officials said.

The hospital was set up in 1963 as a small facility with 10 beds, and has come a long way in offering healthcare to people in theses decades, he added.

Over 14 lakh cases and more than 25,000 deaths have been reported in the national capital till date due to Covid, according to official data.

On Monday, the city recorded 36 cases, the lowest single-day rise in over a year, and three deaths, a day after reporting zero fatality after over four months. PTI KND KJ KJ

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