As the national capital witnesses another spike in Covid-19 infections, several hospitals in the city are left with no intensive care unit beds with ventilators; a member of Delhi government-constituted panel to check Covid preparedness calls situation ‘alarming’.

As Delhi witnesses another spike in Covid-19 infections, several private hospitals and two government hospitals in the city are left with no Intensive care unit (ICU) beds with ventilators, which are extremely crucial for patients with severe disease.

According to the Delhi Government’s Corona application, as reported by news agency IANS, about 68 per cent of the ICU beds with ventilators are occupied across the city, while 69 per cent of ICU beds without ventilators are filled. On the brighter side, only 42 per cent of normal Covid-19 beds are in-use.

Dr R.K. Gupta, a member of Delhi government-constituted committee to check Covid preparedness in the national capital told IANS, “Yes, this looks very alarming. We should have much better infrastructure in both government and private hospitals like America. Secondly, the hospitals can divert the number of beds available for normal patients to Covid patients. That is all we can do at this juncture.”

About 399 ICU beds with ventilators out of 1,244 are vacant, 604 ICU beds without ventilators out of 1,921 are free and 9,076 normal Covid-19 beds out of 15,790 are available, as per the latest data from government’s mobile app on Covid-related information.

As many as 38 private hospitals have zero ICU beds with ventilators. All such beds in Delhi Government’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and Central Government’s Northern Railway hospital are also occupied.

The situation is also worse at Central government hospitals such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where only 5 out of 50 ICU beds with ventilators are left and only 1 bed out of 54 is vacant at Safdarjung Hospital.

At Delhi Government’s Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan Hospital, only six out of 200 ICU-ventilator beds are available and in GTB hospital, only 18 out of 128 ICU beds with ventilators are vacant. Few other hospitals are also running short on such beds in both Central and Delhi government’s hospitals. A Max Healthcare spokesperson told IANS that the occupancy is high but there is no shortage of beds. There was, however, no response from Fortis Hospital till the time the story went for publishing.

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder and director of another Delhi-based hospital, Cygnus, which is running short on ICU beds without ventilators asserted that “whenever needed, the hospital can covert more beds into ICU”.

The national Capital has been recording more than 5,000 Covid-19 cases for five consecutive days. It had recorded 5,891 new cases, highest daily cases so far, on 30 October. The spike in cases has coincided with festive season, pollution and the onset of winter.