Around 1% of active Covid cases in ICUs: data from India | Latest India News

New Delhi: Only about 1% of those who tested positive for Covid-19 across India are in intensive care units (ICUs) of government hospitals, with only about a tenth of those (those in ICUs) on ventilators, people familiar with the matter in the Ministry of Health said – proportions consistent with trends seen around the world in regions where infections are caused by the Omicron variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

“About 1% are in intensive care units (ICUs), 0.12% on ventilators and 1.55% are being treated on oxygen beds in several government health facilities,” a senior Ministry of Health official said. Health on condition of anonymity, citing current public hospitalization. The data. The figures do not include those being treated in private hospitals, although most experts believe the proportions are likely about the same.

The hospitalization rate seen so far in the current wave of Covid-19 is between 5% and 10% of active cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.

“Hospitalizations have increased over the past few days even though the situation is not as bad as we saw last year thanks to the Delta variant. However, even a small percentage for a country like India could result in a significant overall increase because in absolute numbers it will be higher,” said Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals.

It is difficult to get disaggregated data, but in Delhi, for example, according to the daily update provided by the state government on January 14, only 2.7% of the 92,223 active cases are currently hospitalized, with only 0.73% in intensive care. . Active cases were last at this level on May 2 last year, and at that time almost 22% of them were hospitalized.

According to government data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Friday morning, the number of active cases in India currently stands at over one million (1,272,073). The last time the number was at this level was June 9, 2021, when the number of active cases in India was 1,231,415.

But hospitalizations have not increased. According to a 15-region HT tracker, almost 85.3% of hospital beds are currently vacant.

The trends in India are in line with what has been seen globally: the Omicron variant is significantly less likely to cause severe disease due to a combination of intrinsic characteristics – the virus is less able to replicate in the lungs – and basic immunity conferred by vaccination or past infection.

Public health experts are also of the opinion that Omicron may not be responsible for at least some of the hospitalizations. The Delta variant, they add, is still in circulation, although Omicron is increasingly becoming the dominant variant.

“The number of Omicron may increase, but we must not forget that Delta is still present and that hospitalizations could also be partly the result of the Delta variant. It is not possible to get every positive sample genome sequenced because it is an advanced test that is expensive and time-consuming,” said a senior central government epidemiologist, who is also part of of several key committees advising the government on Covid-19.

And the number of deaths, though increasing, may be due to comorbidities, or largely among unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) people, or both.

Analysis of 97 deaths between 9 and 12 January in Delhi showed that almost three out of four deaths involved someone who received no dose and, from a smaller subset of 34 people whose comorbid conditions were known, all deceased patients suffered from another disease which is known to increase the risk of death.

To the directions of the Center, several hospitals have suspended all elective procedures to be able to spare beds, ventilators and other essential supplies, as well as the human resources necessary to manage an increase in hospitalizations. Only emergency patients are being cared for at this time.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health wrote to states asking them to strengthen health infrastructure and personnel bearing in mind the 5-10% hospitalization rate among positive Covid-19 cases that the country currently reports.

“The rise in coronavirus cases appears to be due to a combination of the concerning variants of Omicron and Delta,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to states. “The situation is dynamic and changing, therefore the need for hospitalization may also change rapidly.”

“Things are pretty much under control at the moment, but the situation is evolving and we need to stay prepared for the worst,” another government official said on condition of anonymity.


    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at the Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics including Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
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