Despite surging cases, Delhi manages to keep hospitalisation rate stable

New Delhi: As Delhi's COVID-19 count continues to increase, with the number of containment zones also rapidly rising, what the Delhi government has managed to do is effectively cap the hospitalisation rate, thereby keeping the Capital's healthcare system fairly unburdened as of now. As per data released by the state government, Delhi hospitals have a capacity of treating 3,000 patients at a time and as of now, only 527 of these beds are occupied.

Since the national lockdown was implemented, the Capital had seen a surge in cases leading to a sudden increase in hospitalisation rates. On March 24, when the lockdown began, Delhi had 30 COVID-19 cases and 162 people were hospitalised with Coronavirus-related ailments. The number of people in hospital and total COVID-19 cases saw a sharp increase in the first two weeks of the lockdown. By April 11, Delhi had recorded over 1,000 cases with over 1,600 hospitalised.

However, data points out that strategies adopted and prepared for by authorities have reduced the hospitalisation rates in the city. However, the first strategy that helped reduce hospitalisation rates was the one devised by the Centre to only keep severe COVID-19 cases in hospitals and shift the rest into either COVID-19 Care Centres or COVID-19 Health Centres (for mild and moderate cases respectively.

By April 11, hospitals were already feeling the pinch and by adopting this strategy, the hospitalisation numbers started to fall. By April 14, there were 1,400 people hospitalised and that number fell below 1,000 in the next two days as more and more people were transferred to either Care Centres or Health Centres.

As far as flattening the hospitalisation curve, the Delhi government seems to have made an impact by reducing caseload in hospitals - which is the entire point of all measures being taken by countries worldwide. Experts in the field across the globe have already said that the virus is one that will definitely spread and the only thing that can help is to delay the process so that healthcare systems do not get overwhelmed - like in countries such as Italy, Spain or the US.

If official data is considered, Delhi seems to have effectively unburdened its hospitals, despite not being able to flatten the COVID-19 case curve. In addition, the administration here has already said that Delhi's healthcare system will be able to handle up to 30,000 cases with ease and is also working to increase bed capacity.

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