A more virulent strain of coronavirus, insufficient infrastructure to handle critical cases and hoarding of essential drugs have led to more deaths in Delhi, experts said on Tuesday, a day after the city registered a record 448 deaths.
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 dies of 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.
Mr Bankata also said that a large number of patients are being treated at home, as hospital beds are full.
“In many cases, patients require high oxygen flow which can only be provided at hospitals and not through concentrators or cylinders. By the time a bed becomes available, their situation has already deteriorated sharply,” he said.
Dr D K Baluja, medical director of Jaipur Golden Hospital, said, “The quantum (of infections) is very high. The number of cases has increased from 8,000 to 25,000. So, the absolute number of deaths will be three times more.”
“Your logistics, manpower, everything crashes in such a situation. The way the load is increasing, your capacity is not able to match up to it,” he said.
Of the 17,414 COVID-19 deaths in Delhi since the pandemic began, more than 5,050 have occurred in the last two weeks.
Delhi logged 448 deaths due to the deadly coronavirus on Monday, the highest in the city since the pandemic began ravaging countries.
The capital reported 407 deaths on Sunday, 412 on Saturday, 375 on Friday, 395 on Thursday, 368 on Wednesday; 381 on Tuesday, 380 on Monday, 350 on last Sunday, and 357 on Saturday last week, according to government data.
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