Number of Covid-19 beds halved as cases continue to dip

The reserved bed capacity for Covid-19 patients was reduced from 60% to 30% of the total bed capacity, while reservations in intensive care units and beds with ventilator support decreased from 75% to 50% in all private and government health facilities, according to to an order issued by the district administration on Tuesday.

The chief medical officer of Gurugram, Dr Virender Yadav, said that due to a constant decline in Covid-19 cases and a high recovery rate, of almost 99%, hospital beds are now vacant. “Except for the ICU and ventilator beds in private hospitals, where patients with severe infections are undergoing treatment, the reserve bed capacity will remain 50%. If required, it will be increased to the maximum capacity of 75%,” said Yadav.

On Tuesday, deputy commissioner Yash Garg issued the order based on the recommendation of the health department, as the Covid-19 curve has flattened in the last two weeks. The weekly test positivity rate, the proportion of positives out of the sample tested, is currently at 0.7%.

The district reported at least 33 new cases on Tuesday, taking the active case count to 642. Of these, 55 are critically ill patients in ICU or ventilator support system. In the last eight days, only 432 new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported.

According to the Gurugram Covid Combat Companion (GC3) portal, of the 3,865 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients, at least 3,198 beds are vacant. It includes 2,887 oxygen beds in over 105 hospitals, of which at least 2,544 are vacant. Likewise, of the 703 ICU beds, 483 are empty and out of 275 ventilator beds, at least 171 are not being utilized.

The district administration previously revised the bed capacity for Covid-19 patients on April 22, when active cases in the city reached a high of 3,553 cases in a day. As the positivity rate peaked to almost 35% on May 22, the healthcare infrastructure of the district was overwhelmed with patients who required immediate oxygen and ventilator support systems. At that time, of 491 ICU beds, only nine beds were available while two out of 233 ventilator beds were available. With increased hospitalisation, fatality also increased, with more than 15 deaths being reported in a day, despite of underreporting.

To address the crisis in April, Garg issued an order under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, reserving at least 60% of the total bed capacity in general wards and 75% of ICU and ventilator beds. Also, to accommodate the patients, makeshift hospitals with at least 800 beds were in the construction phase. According to Yadav, a decision is yet to be taken as to how these makeshift hospitals will be utilized.

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