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COVID19: Hospitals in Delhi turning away critically ill people due to lack of capacity

PortandTerminal.com, June 8, 2020

There are disturbing reports on social media of people critically ill with COVID19 being turned away at hospitals in India’s capital Delhi due to a lack of space to treat them

DELHI, INDIA – Hospitals in India’s capital Delhi at capacity. The city on Sunday ordered many of its hospital beds to be reserved solely for residents of the Indian capital, as the number of COVID-19 infections continued to surge

On 8th June, there were 3,700 swab samples tested for COVID in Delhi, of which 1,007 were positive, that is 27%. It’s getting scarier in every passing day.

Abhisek Dwivedy, Medical Researcher, National Institute of Immunology

The announcement came from the chief minister of India’s capital Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, who said that state hospitals will now be reserved only for residents of the city. His announcement came amid allegations that hospitals are refusing to admit new patients. Earlier today Kejriwal himself announced that he was self-isolating due to a suspected COVID-19 infection.

“We have decided that the 10,000 beds under the Delhi government will be kept for residents,” he said. However, hospitals under the federal government will be available to patients from other states as well.

Surge in infections

Health workers cover the body of a man who died due to the coronavirus
FILE PHOTO: Health workers cover the body of a man who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as relatives pay their respects, at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Delhi has witnessed a surge of COVID-19 infections in recent days. It currently has 27,654 cases with 761 deaths.

A Delhi government coronavirus mobile app showed the city of more than 20 million people had 8,049 COVID-19 beds, but more than half were already occupied. Of the 60 hospitals, 11 had no beds available, the app showed on Sunday.

India has a total of 256,611 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the fifth-highest number in the world and the number of new cases is surging.

Typically about 60-70% of patients admitted to hospitals in Delhi are people travel from other states to get treatment as the city’s hospitals are among the best in the country. But now they are being turned away.

The worst is yet to come

India, which has a population of 1.35 billion is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 infections even as it comes out of lockdown

A five-member expert committee comprising top doctors told local reporters that Delhi could record 100,000 Covid-19 cases by the end of June if we follow the trend we are looking at, which “suggests that the cases are getting doubled every 14-15 days”.

The news comes even as India has taken steps to further relax its stringent lockdown – malls, restaurants, temples and offices are open from Monday.

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