India’s daily case tally between the first and second coronavirus peaks has seen an over 300 percent jump even as the number of ICU beds were increased by merely 19 percent, government data suggest.
The first wave of coronavirus peaked on September 17, 2020, when India reported a total of 97,894 cases in a day. During the same month, India had 63,758 ICU beds.
India crossed the first wave’s peak on April 4 when it reported 1.03 lakh cases in one day – becoming the second country after the US to cross the grim landmark.
On April 15, India surpassed the 2 lakh mark, and on April 22 infections crossed the 3-lakh-mark, making a new global record.
Further on May 1, India registered 4,01,993 fresh cases in a 24-hour period. On May 7, India recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a day since the outbreak of the infection — 4,14,188.
However, the number of ICU beds in India as of April was only 75,867, the Union Health Ministry data claims.
So, while the daily cases from peak to peak saw a rise of 323 percent, the number of ICU beds only increased by 18.99 percent, as per government data analysed by News18.
Also, in April 2020, India had 24,000 ICU beds. Keeping in mind the rise in cases, the number of such beds were increased by September – the peak of the first wave. However, in January the ICU beds again came down to 36,008, as India registered a gradual drop in daily cases.
Several states have reported new records in daily cases over the last few weeks. However, since the last week, a number of states have started registering a drop in daily cases.
Even after the drop, finding a vacant ICU bed remains difficult in many states, data from respective state governments show.
In Mumbai, out of the 2,984 ICU beds, only 277 – 9.28 percent — were vacant as of Saturday.
Similarly, on Saturday evening, while there are no ICU beds available in Goa out of 249 total beds, in Delhi, out of the total 6,313 ICU beds, only 558 were vacant – 8.84 percent.
In Andhra Pradesh, only 298 ICU beds are available out of a total of 6,406, as per the official data.
Tamil Nadu has 5.49 percent of the ICU beds vacant – 492 out of 8,957.
For Kerala and Chhattisgarh, the picture was a little better when compared to other states.
Out of 7,290 ICU beds, Kerala had 2,092 beds vacant and in Chhattisgarh, 926 out of 2,337 beds were vacant.
In Jammu and Kashmir, out of the 394 ICU beds, only 150 are vacant, official data says.
Atrocious patient-bed ratio
As of Saturday, India’s total active caseload stood at 36,73,802 after it reported 3.26 lakh fresh cases. The cumulative caseload stood at 2.43 crore, including 2.04 crore recoveries.
With 3,890 new fatalities, the death toll has been pushed to 2.66 lakh, according to the Union health ministry data.
It is also important to note that as per the government, not all cases require hospitalisation or special care. However, a certain section does.
With the current number of ICU beds, only two percent of the active cases can get ICU care.
It is also important to note that the number of ICU beds are being increased by several states based on the demand.