Covid in Delhi is spiking “exponentially” and hospitalisations are also increasing by the day, Dr Suresh Kumar, the Director of Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital or LNJP, has told NDTV. Of the 2000 beds reserved for Covid patients, only 45 are available, he said, as the daily admissions have shot up to 15 to 20, from two or three a day. “Right now, we don’t feel the pressure because we are fully prepared,” he added.
The silver lining is that oxygen requirement less in Omicron variant. None of the patients have so far required oxygen or a ventilator, Dr Kumar said. The hospital is handling 35 Omicron patients.
Earlier today, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the city is expecting a spike of 10,000 daily cases — a third wave that is driven largely by the highly infectious Omicron variant. The country also recorded its first Omicron-related death in Rajasthan today.
The transmission rate of Omicron is three to four times than that of Delta, Dr Kumar said, comparing the Covid graph to a “hockey stick”.
Over the last two or three days, the hospital is seeing a large number of patients testing positive. From less than 10 Covid patients before, the number is now nearly double. Expecting mothers are testing positive, he said.
The big concern now is an uptick in the number of healthcare workers testing positive. “It is of utmost importance that we protect our healthcare workers… we have to be more alert, more aggressive this time,” Dr Kumar said.
Of the 400-plus incoming international travellers from Delhi’s IGI airport, 185 are cases of Omicron, Dr Kumar said.
The facility for International travellers is separate – they are lodged at the Ramlila ground in Old Delhi. Most of the patients are asymptomatic and nearly 150 of them have been discharged.
Dr NK Arora, the chief of the country’s vaccine task force, has told NDTV that the country is going through the third wave of the pandemic and a large chunk of the cases are that of Omicron.
Metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata have a combined 75 per cent share of the Omicron infection, which has spread across the world after it surfaced in South Africa in November.