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Covid-19 Spike In Delhi But Demand For Oxygen Support, Low: Top Covid Hospitals

Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi, which is one of India’s biggest hospitals for dedicated facilities for Covid-19 patients, hasn’t received a single Omicron-confirmed patient to date which required oxygen support.

Covid-19 Spike In Delhi But Demand For Oxygen Support, Low: Top Covid Hospitals
A worker prepares beds for Covid-19 patients ahead of Omicron surge at a Covid19 hospital in Delhi | PTI
Covid-19 Spike In Delhi But Demand For Oxygen Support, Low: Top Covid Hospitals
outlookindia.com
2022-01-11T14:34:49+05:30

Over 20,000 people are being diagnosed with Covid-19 in Delhi each day. However,  hospitalisation figures are low and Covid hospitals report that among those who have taken admission, requirement for Oxygen support  so far has been negligible.

Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi, which is one of India’s biggest hospitals for dedicated facilities for Covid-19 patients, hasn’t received a single Omicron-confirmed patient to date which required oxygen support.

Though the hospital has 2,000 Covid beds and 500 additional beds under its supervision at the Ramlila ground, till January 10, only 130 Covid-19 patients were admitted out of which 5 were infected with Omicron. 

Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director, LNJP says that since this new variant Omicron has arrived in India, he hasn’t received a single patient who needs Oxygen support. 

“Patents who come for admission normally show symptoms such as fever, sore throat, body ache and weakness. We have treated to date 185 confirmed Omicron patients and all of them recovered within four to seven days of treatment,” Dr Kumar said.

Dr Kumar clarified that the total number of Omicron patients his hospital has treated to date might be much more than 185 but since the sample of these 185 patients were confirmed as Omicron infection after genome sequencing, he has cited this as an official figure.

He added, “On the basis of the experience I have gained from treating Omicron patients, I can say with confidence that it is causing only mild to moderate symptoms.”

Asked what according to him are moderate symptoms, he said, “Fever, body ache, headache, fatigue are some of the moderate symptoms with which people are being admitted. In the past one month, I haven’t got a single Omicron-confirmed patient who needed oxygen support.”

Dr Kumar also informed that even kids, pregnant ladies and immune-compromised patients infected with Omicron were also admitted in the hospital, but as of now they didn’t need oxygen and recovered within a week’s time.

Dr (Prof) Jugal Kishore, Head of Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, also echoes the similar status in his hospital as he says, “I haven’t seen a single Omicron patient in my hospital who requires Oxygen support. I think the situation that is there in hospitals is not being rightly reflected in the media reports. It is creating more panic and fear than what the actual scenario is. 

“There are mainly three categories of Omicron cases, the majority are asymptomatic and mild. Those who are landing in hospitals have fever, bad throat and body ache,” Dr Kishore added. 

Other hospitals are also admitting Covid-19 patients, however, since their samples are not being sent for genome sequencing, they don’t know if the patient is suffering from Omicron or another variant Delta which is still circulating in some quarters in Delhi. Nevertheless, they say that there is no surge in the demand or consumption of Oxygen.

Dr Vikas Maurya, Director & HOD, Respiratory Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, says, “Since RTPCR test is mandatory for every admission in hospital, many patients are being admitted for different illnesses, however, since they turn positive, they are levelled as Covid-19 patients.”

He added, “I have spoken to many of my friends in other hospitals and they all say that there is no increase in the consumption of Oxygen since we have come to know about the spread of this new variant Omicron. I have also witnessed a few of the Covid-19 patients, who went on oxygen support but recover faster. We don’t know which variant they were infected with because we cannot do genome sequencing on Covid-19 patients.” 

Dr Rahul Bhargava, Head, Haematology Department, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “In fact, since Omicron has been diagnosed in Delhi NCR, our oxygen demand has gone down instead of going up and this shows that patients who are coming to hospitals have only moderate illnesses like fever etc.”

“We have only 12 Covid-19 patients in our hospitals and only two are on Oxygen support. Since the Delta variant is still present in some quarters, those who are on Oxygen support might be infected with Delta."

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