Critical care beds run short as COVID-19 numbers soar in New Delhi

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Hospitals are running out of intensive care beds for critical COVID-19 patients in New Delhi on Friday as fresh infections soared in the Indian capital.

A local government-run mobile phone app that provides COVID-19 related information showed only one to five beds with ventilators were available early on Friday in the intensive care units of 28 hospitals.

The rest of the 100-odd private and state-run hospitals with designated COVID-19 facilities showed full occupancy for intensive care unit beds.

More than half of the COVID-19 beds outside intensive care units are also occupied.

While countrywide daily new cases of COVID-19 have come down substantially since mid-September, New Delhi has seen a steep rise in the past two weeks, reporting more than 6,000 new cases daily.

The spike is being attributed to people thronging markets before the Diwali festival without following proper protocols like wearing masks and social-distancing.

Other factors like increased air pollution due to stubble burning and the onset of winter are not helping.

The city and its suburbs reported 7,053 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest among Indian states, and 104 deaths, according to federal Health Ministry data.

The Delhi high court on Thursday, at the government’s request, told private hospitals to reserve 80 percent of their critical care beds for COVID-19 patients after an experts’ panel predicted the situation was likely to worsen in coming weeks.

India is second only to the U.S. in its COVID-19 caseload, with 8.7 million cases. So far 128,668 people have died there of the disease. (dpa/NAN)

– Nov. 13, 2020 @ 12:43 GMT |

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