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Marginal dip in admission of Covid patients in Kolkata hospitals

Belle Vue Clinic has reduced the number of beds from 108 to 70 since Saturday

Sanjay Mandal | Published 19.01.22, 07:50 AM
Too early to say the wave has peaked, warn doctors

Too early to say the wave has peaked, warn doctors

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Several hospitals in Kolkata are witnessing a marginal dip in admission of Covid patients over the last few days but doctors warned that it was too early to say the current wave of infections has started falling.

Some hospitals have already started reducing the number of Covid beds, while others are planning to do so from next week if the downward trend continues. However, the number of critical care patients has not gone down, the hospitals said.

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Doctors and officials running the hospitals said there had been a decline in the number of asymptomatic patients turning up for other ailments but incidentally testing positive for Covid.

The fall in the count of such patients is the main reason for the decline in the Covid bed occupancy, officials at multiple hospitals said.

Belle Vue Clinic has reduced the number of Covid beds from 108 to 70 since Saturday.

“The occupancy was going down over the past week. On the other hand, the number of patients is increasing in non-Covid wards. So we have reduced the number of Covid beds,” said Pradip Tondon, CEO of Belle Vue Clinic.

On Tuesday, 10,430 new Covid cases were detected in Bengal and Kolkata accounted for 2,205 cases. On January 11, as many as 21,098 new cases were detected across the state and Kolkata accounted for 6,565 cases.

Doctors, however, warned that it was too early to say the third wave of Covid infections, driven by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, was receding.

“There is a definite dip in daily new cases, but whether this will sustain is too early to say,” said Chandramouli Bhattacharya, infectious diseases specialist at Peerless Hospital.

“The third ward opened in our hospital is almost empty. Also, the rate of positivity (of Covid tests) at our laboratory has gone down.” At the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, the occupancy in the Covid wards came down from 110 to 87 on Tuesday. The hospital has 151 Covid beds.

“Fewer asymptomatic people are coming to the hospital with ailments such as cardiac problems and testing positive for Covid during the routine pre-admission screening. About 70 per cent of the patients admitted in the Covid wards are under this category. So, as this number has started dipping, the occupancy of beds is going down, too,” said R. Venkatesh, regional director, east, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital.

“If the downward trend continues, the hospital will reduce the number of Covid beds next week. The occupancy in the general wards is going up as many patients are testing negative for Covid during the routine tests.”

The positivity rate of Covid tests at the RN Tagore hospital’s diagnostic laboratory has gone down from 67 per cent a week ago to around 30 per cent. At AMRI Hospitals, Dhakuria, the occupancy in the Covid ward has gone down slightly, from 120 to 102.

“The occupancy, however, is stagnant at our other two units — in Salt Lake and Mukundapur — though the number has not gone up there in the past few days,” said Rupak Barua, group CEO of AMRI Hospitals. 

At the government-run MR Bangur Superspeciality Hospital, too, the number of Covid patients admitted has been stagnating at around 230 over the last five days, down from 250, said officials. The 713-bed hospital has been turned into a dedicated Covid treatment centre.

“One reason for the number going down could be that many people are not getting tested. We urge people with symptoms to go to doctors and follow their advice. They should not self-medicate,” said Sisir Naskar, medical superintendent of MR Bangur hospital.

Last updated on 19.01.22, 07:50 AM
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