Members of an expert committee have predicted that there will be 100,000 cases of coronavirus in Delhi by the end of June which would led to the need of around 42,000 by mid-July. The committee has observed trends in worst-affected cities such as Mumbai and Ahmedabad while preparing its report.
The five-member committee, set up to aid the government in planning the augmenting of health infrastructure in the national capital, on Saturday submitted its report to the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, which is yet to make it public. However, speaking to Hindustan Times, about the recommendations made in the report, one of the committee members, on condition of anonymity, said that Delhi will need 15,000 beds by the end of the month and around 42,000 by mid-July.
Delhi on Saturday recorded 27,654 cases of novel coronavirus cases, while the death toll due to the disease mounted to 761.
As per a media report, the national capital has more than 8,600 beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Of these, almost 49 per cent are already occupied. The government is working to increase the number of beds to about 9,800 by mid of June.
“There are about 25,000 coronavirus cases in Delhi at present and the doubling time is 14 to 15 days. This means, by mid-June there will be about 50,000 cases and by month end 1 lakh cases. Now, assuming that 20 to 25 per cent of these patients need hospitalisation, Delhi would need 15,000 beds by the end of the month and 42,000 by mid-July. We have not calculated beyond that,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, chairman of the five-member committee, to Hindustan Times.
He further suggested that most of these beds have to be level 3 or 4, which means that they have to be equipped with high-flow oxygen or ventilators as around 20 per cent of patients in hospitals may require ventilator support. “The government might have to start looking at makeshift beds in banquet halls, open grounds or stadiums,” said Dr Verma.
Dr Arun Gupta, another member of the committee, mentioned that the estimates are based on Delhi’s population alone. “The committee has said that all its projections are based on the number of cases that are being reported from Delhi each day and the increasing trend. This means that the infrastructure suggested by the committee is what is needed just for those living in Delhi,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.
A senior government official, on condition of anonymity, said that the report has also suggested of taking over banquet halls, stadiums, and other air-conditioned halls to increase the bed capacity in the city as the Covid-19 cases are tend to surge. “The government panel headed by Verma has stated that with the sharp increase in coronavirus cases and the limited resources, there is an urgent need to prioritise who gets treatment first and who actually ought to be tested. In that case, it found that people of Delhi should be given preference."