As Covid hospitalizations begin to plateau, Delhi’s health minister says cases could soon plummet

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Hospitalizations with Covid have either stagnated or in some cases started to decline, even as Delhi continues to report more than 20,000 cases of infection every day, according to doctors. According to the government’s daily health bulletin, the number of hospitalizations rose from less than 1,000 to 2,363 in seven days, but hospitals have started to see a change in trend.

At Delhi’s largest government hospital, Lok Nayak, new admissions have fallen to 20 in the past 24 hours from the 35 to 40 patients they were seeing each day earlier. “With the number of cases increasing, we had expected that the number of hospitalizations would also continue to increase. However, we only saw 20 admissions today, compared to the 35-40 we usually see each day. This is the first time the numbers have dropped during the current wave,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of Lok Nayak Hospital.

This drop in numbers could, however, reflect the change in screening strategy. All hospitals reported a majority of Covid-19 as an “incidental” finding in patients who come for treatment of other conditions. The Union Health Ministry’s new testing strategy released two days ago states that “asymptomatic patients undergoing invasive surgical/non-surgical procedures, including pregnant women in or near labor who are hospitalized for childbirth, should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop.

Previously, all patients requiring admission or undergoing a procedure were tested to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital.

At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), a senior doctor said the total number of admissions had almost stagnated.

“The number of patients entering and those dying or leaving is almost the same, hence the stagnation in the total number of admissions. It looks like we are near the peak of the current wave of infections,” the doctor said.

The situation is similar to the Delhi government-run Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in the trans-Yamuna region.

“There are approximately 24 patients currently admitted to the 500 Covid-19 beds we have at Ram Leela Ground. The number has remained between 18 and 25 for the past few days,” a senior official said.

“There are 20,000 cases recorded for the past few days, positivity has also remained close to 25%. Hospital admissions are also not increasing, they have leveled off. That’s a good sign. Yesterday only 2 209 beds were occupied and 12,400 beds were free. Almost six times the beds are vacant and the occupancy rate is less than 15%. This is when we have just freed up 15,000 beds; we are preparing 37,000 beds” , Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Wednesday.

He added: “It looks like the cases will soon start to decline. Restrictions will be eased when cases start to decline. »

Currently, there are approximately 74,000 active cases of which approximately 2,000 are hospitalized. By comparison, while there were 74,000 active cases during the wave of Covid-19 in April-May last year, there were nearly 14,000 people admitted to hospitals in the city.

The surge peaked at around 20,000 hospitalizations and more than 28,000 new cases per day.

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