Numbers still 1-2 per cent of total cases; many patients who’re in ICUs with other ailments were found to be positive
A health worker collects a sample, at Nair hospital on June 7. Pic/Ashish Raje
There has been a 26 per cent rise in the number of Covid patients in ICUs in the city over the past week. While this may appear alarming, doctors said many were asymptomatic and already in ICUs for other ailments. Their infection came to the fore after Covid tests that are mandatory before a few procedures. However, doctors have urged citizens to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
Over the past month, there has been a rise in Covid-19 cases. While hospital admissions were quite a few initially, an average of 80 patients are being admitted over the past few days. According to the civic body’s Covid-19 dashboard, there were 131 patients in ICUs on June 19, which rose to 165 on June 24. That’s a growth of nearly 26 per cent. On June 7, the figure was 53.
Of last week’s 131 patients, 66 were in private and 65 in public hospitals. As per the latest count, 92 patients were admitted ICUs at private hospitals, while 73 were in public hospitals. Civic officials said the city has 793 ICU beds in private and 545 beds in public hospitals vacant.
Dr Rahul Pandit, director of Critical Care Medicine & ICU and also a member of the state Covid taskforce, said “If we see overall cases, not even 1 or 2 per cent patients need ICU. It has been observed that ICU admission increases after two weeks of a surge. It is natural for cases to increase slightly when overall cases are going up. Many of the patients are incidentally found positive for Covid. Patients suffering from other co-morbidities are admitted to ICU and also come positive for Covid but they don't have any health issues due to Covid.”
Dr Balkrishna Adsul, dean of SevenHills Hospital, said they have 40 patients in the ICU most of them have been brought from other hospitals after they tested positive. “Many patients were admitted to the ICU due to heart, kidney, liver, and other health issues and unfortunately tested positive for Covid. Some of them were admitted for surgery and tested positive before the operative procedure. So many of the hospitals which are non-Covid shifted the patients to us. None of the ICU patients needs oxygen support or a ventilator.”
Till June 24, there were 84 patients on oxygen support and 23 patients on ventilators, as per the BMC. An official from the corporation’s health department said, “Vaccination has played an important role due to which the city is reporting fewer severe patients.”