NEW DELHI: Along with the spurt in the coronavirus cases, India is witnessing a dramatic rise in patients requiring intensive care and ventilator and oxygen support.
The figures by the Union Ministry of Health and Family show that in last 10 days, the percentage of people on ventilator has increased three times while there has been an increase of over two folds in patients on oxygen support and in intensive care units.
On April 26, when the number of active cases was 20,800, 2.17 per cent patients were in ICU, 1.29 per cent patients had required oxygen support and a mere 0.36 per cent had been on ventilators.
As per the statistics shared by the government on Thursday, when the active cases in the country stands at 35, 902, 4.8 per cent patients are in ICU, 1.1 per cent on ventilators and 3.3 per cent on oxygen support.
The country now has confirmed 52,952 Covid-19 patients of whom 1,783 have died.
Explaining the rise in the proportion of patients who need intensive care, critical care specialists, meanwhile, said that it is as per the expected lines as the outbreak is progressing in the country.
“Initially most hospitalized cases were imported and they were mostly low-risk patients. But as the disease is getting transmitted locally, people who are at high risk for serious diseases, for instance those who are elderly and with co-morbidity, are also contracting it and developing complications,” said Dr Shika Panwar, a critical care specialist with Sarvodaya hospital in Faridabad.
“Many of these patients are now into ICUs and we will understand things better in the coming days as the outbreak further unfolds," she added.
Dr Raymond Savio, a critical care specialist from Chennai said that the apparent increase in the proportion of patients in ICU and critical care could be a result of new sick patients getting added to previously ill patients as Covid-19 patients often have long ICU stays.
Globally, it has been estimated that 5-10 per cent of infected patients need critical care in terms of ventilator support.
Meanwhile, the Centre said that there are 180 districts with no new cases in less than 7 days, 180 districts with no new cases in 7-13 days, 164 districts which have not had any new case in 14-20 days and 136 districts with no new cases since the last 21-28 days.
Also, 13 states and UTs - Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Odisha - have not reported any new case in the 24 hours.