Delhi’s 3rd Wave: Is the City Running Out of ICU & Oxygen Beds?  

Based on information provided on the Delhi Corona app, we called a few hospitals to get a reality check.

Published
India
3 min read
COVID-19 infected child dances inside a ward at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Village sports complex, temporarily converted into a COVID care centre, in New Delhi, Thursday, 27 August, 2020. Photo used for representation.
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Will Delhi's reported third wave of the coronavirus pandemic going to get as bad as its first? With the highest ever cases reported in the national capital on a daily basis for last two weeks, is there a shortage of beds in the city hospitals?

On 8 November, Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain said that ICU beds are available in government hospitals. But with many people preferring private hospitals, the situation is seeming to be more serious.

On 11 November, FIT, based on information provided on the Corona app of the Delhi government, tried to call a few hospitals, both public and private, to get a reality check.

According to the app, there are ICU beds available in various hospitals. But when we called as a patient's attendant in some of these hospitals, a more complex picture emerged.

Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (Private), Okhla

According to the hospital, COVID ICU beds were not available. We were told that only oxygen-supported beds are available. The app though indicated that 5 beds with ventilators were empty.

Delhi’s 3rd Wave: Is the City Running Out of ICU & Oxygen Beds?  
(Photo : Screenshot/ Delhi Corona app)

Indian Spinal Injury Center (Private) - Vasant Kunj

The hospital told us that of the 37 beds allocated for COVID, not a single bed was available. We were also told that beds were not available in ICU. However, according to the app, 4 out of 4 COVID-19 ICU beds were said to be empty here.

This is the number of ICU beds available with ventilators.

Lok Nayak Hospital (Delhi Government)

We were told that to get admission, we needed a health summery slip of the COVID patient, before meeting the CMO, who would decide if a bed could be given.

According to the app, 35 out of 230 Covid-19 ICU beds were said to be empty here. This is the number of ICU beds available without ventilators.

HAHC Hospital (Private), Hamdard Nagar

It was reported here that COVID ICU beds are available. The patient will be admitted with an advance payment of Rs 1 lakh.

According to the app, 5 out of 5 COVID-19 ICU beds were said to be empty here. This is the number of ICU beds available with ventilators.

Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (Central Government)

On inquiring on phone, we were told that the situation changes minute-by-minute. By the time the patient reaches, it is possible that all beds will be full. They said it wasn't possible to give information on phone and it was suggested that we take the patient to LNJP, which is a dedicated COVID hospital.

According to the app, 3 out of 28 COVID-19 ICU beds were empty. This is the number of ICU beds available with ventilators.

AIIMS, Jhajjar (Central Government)

We were told that beds are available and admission will be possible.

According to the app, 26 out of 50 COVID-19 ICU beds were empty here. This is the number of ICU beds available with ventilators.

Lack of Real-Time Data on Delhi Corona App

The problem seems to be the lack of real-time data available on the Corona app. In several hospitals we called, the information given on phone did not match the app data.

According to the app, the total number of beds as of 6 pm on 11 November in hospitals across Delhi, stands at 16,525 COVID beds, 1,280 beds with ventilators and 2,069 ICU beds without ventilators. Of these, a total of 8,478 COVID-19 beds are empty. The number of empty ICU beds with ventilators is 173 and the number of empty ICU beds without ventilators is 337.

(The article was first published in FIT and has been republished with permission)

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