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More virulent strain, buckling infra have led to more deaths in Capital

New Delhi: A more virulent strain of coronavirus, insufficient infrastructure to handle critical cases and hoarding of essential drugs has led to more deaths in Delhi, experts said on Thursday. They also said the number of deaths could be more as many patients die outside hospitals waiting for a bed.

Dr Jugal Kishore, the head of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said the "insufficiency of infrastructure" to handle critical patients is leading to more deaths.

"The virus is not causing so many deaths, it is the insufficient resources and facilities. This is the major reason," he said.

Critical cases are piling up but there are no beds available for them. Many patients have died on the way to hospitals or outside healthcare facilities waiting for a bed, while many have died due to unavailability of oxygen, Dr Kishore said.

Critical patients spend 10 to 20 days in ICU or on oxygen support. So, the beds remain occupied for this period, even as the number of critical cases keep increasing every day, he said.

Black-marketing and hoarding of essential drugs being used to treat critical patients is another reason.

"This has limited the people's access to these drugs," he said.

Sudhanshu Bankata, the Executive Director of Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area, said a critical patient succumbs to the virus after 14 to 15 days of testing positive.

"So, if there are more cases today, the number of deaths will be high on the 14th or the 15th day," he said. Bankata also said that a large number of patients are being treated at home, as hospital beds are full.

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