A few days back, the Chief Minister of Delhi mentioned how lockdown becomes inevitable if the hospital system collapses. Collapse visibly meant the total occupancy of beds in the hospitals of Delhi. Delhi might well be on its way to the much-feared collapse, going just by the ICU beds occupancy data.
88% of Covid ICU beds in Delhi are occupied as per the Delhi government's real-time Corona app, with 9 out of 10 ICU beds showing as occupied and with cases rising every day. Out of 125 hospitals with critical care facilities, 88 hospitals have no ICU beds available. The private Sector and nursing homes are facing the same crunch. Eighty-eight hospitals with no ICU beds available include 06 government and 92 private facilities. Data shows that out of the 3,989 critical-care beds in the city for Covid-19 patients, 3,535 are occupied.
Fight For Survival
At Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, only 47 ICU beds are available against a total of 450. "A patient moves on to the ventilator as a last resort and before that, we try to treat the patient with non-invasive techniques so that the chances of survival can be increased," said Dr B L Sherwal, as reported by The Indian Express. Situation is similar or worse at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital and Deep Chand Bandhu hospital.
Reserve Beds For COVID Patients
The Delhi government is directing hospitals to increase the bed capacity in general and ICU wards in many government and private hospitals. Nineteen private hospitals have been directed to reserve 80% of their ICU beds and 82 of them to reserve 60% for Covid-19 patients—a total of 1,398 ICU beds for Covid patients in these 101 private hospitals.
Options Running Out
Daily infections have stayed consistently above 2 Lakhs in the last couple of days, beds running out, and social gatherings continuing unabated. How much the recent new curfew announced by the Delhi government and the weekend curfew will make the situation better is to be seen. Total lockdown - considered the last option seems to loom large and inevitable. Will Delhi and India be able to cope with the economic costs of a new lockdown even as precious lives get lost in Delhi and India? It is tough to answer it because the options are running out.
Also read: COVID-19: Samples From Madhya Pradesh Showed 6% Double Mutation Virus And 5% UK Variant