The group headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul, in their recommendation shared with the government last month, has suggested preparing 23 hospitalisations for every 100 positive cases in a future Covid-19 infection surge.
This estimation is higher than the projection the group had made in September 2020 ahead of the second wave, when it calculated that about 20% of patients with “severe/ moderately severe” symptoms would require hospitalisation, The Indian Express reported.
After the Covid-19 second wreaked havoc, the recommendation to set aside a larger number of hospital beds is based on the pattern seen during April-June to this year. Reportedly, during its peak, on June 1 when the active caseload across the country was 18 lakh, 21.74% cases required hospitalisation in the 10 states with the maximum cases, of them, 2.2% were in ICU.
Being ready for worse, the group is taking into account a peak of four-five lakh cases per day and has made a suggestion- two lakh ICU beds should be readied by next month- including 1.2 lakh ICU beds with ventilators, 7 lakh non-ICU hospital beds (of them 5 lakh oxygen-enabled), and 10 lakh Covid isolation care beds.
In September 2020, months ahead of the second wave, the group had estimated that of 100 positive cases, 20 would need hospitalisation, with three requiring ICU care. Of the remaining 80 asymptomatic cases, it was estimated that 50 would need isolation at Corona Care Centres for seven days while the rest could stay at home. However, a source claimed to Indian Express, that the group’s calculations then were based on the utilisation of hospital beds in Covid hospitals and health centres observed till the end of August 2020, during the first wave.