Anticipating a surge in Covid-19 cases after the festival season, the Delhi government is getting over two lakh beds and an additional 40,000 ones ready with ventilators in ICUs as part of its preparedness. Of the two lakh beds, 50% will be assisted with ventilators.
After the apocalyptic scenes during the second Covid-19 wave in Delhi, the government has geared up for better arrangements for patients to thwart a repeat of the tragedy.
The government is expecting hospitalisation of 23% of those infected based on a study that it conducted during and after the second wave. However, the scale and degree of infection is expected to be higher given the high viral load nature of the Delta variant of the virus.
“The metric for healthcare infrastructure requirement is based on admission rate during the second wave. We found that hospitalisation increased during the previous surge. Each district hospital will get at least five more ventilators. Many districts have already started getting deliveries,” a senior official told The Times of India.
The official added that the problem is “not focused around the availability of ventilators”. “With local manufacturing of ventilators, the supply issue has been addressed but even as we procure more ventilators, human resource management and training is crucial,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Centre is also conducting a programme for skill development to train more healthcare workers and technicians to operate ventilator-assisted ICU beds.
The Delhi government is expecting 23% ICU hospitalisation as against 20% in the previous wave. “Earlier, it was 20% though not everyone was in ICU. If it is a Delta-like variant or Delta itself, our assumption is that this is what our hospitalisation would look like but the uncertainty is if it’s a smarter Delta. Planning should be done in a pragmatic way,” the report quoted another official.
In a relief, vaccination is expected to have its impact and the severity of the disease may be far less.
“The vaccination will have its impact. Breakthrough infections will happen as they are happening across the world and some may require hospitalisation depending upon the behaviour of the virus but vaccine will protect against severe disease and mortality will be much modest,” the official said.
Besides ICU beds, there are also 30,000-40,000 more ICU beds for non-Covid patients.
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