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Friday, August 12, 2022

Most Covid-19 deaths in Delhi among those with comorbidities

With cases of Covid-19 on the rise again in the national capital – over 2,000 cases have been recorded over the last three days – the number of deaths with the infection are also on the rise. There have been 16 deaths in the first five days of August. Delhi reported 2,419 cases and a positivity rate of 12.9% on Friday, according to the government’s daily health bulletin.

Most of the Covid-19 deaths recorded in the government’s health bulletin are of people who incidentally test positive for the infection, say doctors from big government hospitals. Two of the four haven’t seen a death yet as cases continue to increase.

“The Covid-19 deaths that are now being recorded – just like the previous Omicron wave – are happening in those who are immune-compromised such as people undergoing dialysis, suffering from chronic kidney, heart diseases and tuberculosis. In fact, in most cases, the finding of Covid-19 is incidental. They are probably admitted for treatment of other conditions, they get fever, and when we test them, they are found to be positive,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak hospital, which was one of the city’s biggest Covid-19 treatment facilities. It currently also has the highest number of isolation rooms – 20 in total – for monkeypox cases.

The number of admissions in the hospital has increased to almost 50 this week as compared to single-digit admissions that it was previously reporting.

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Dr Nandini Duggal, acting medical superintendent of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, said, “There has been an increase in the number of cases over the last few days. But the cases are mostly mild, with fever for two to three days. There have not been any deaths at the hospital during the current increase in cases.”

Similarly, Safdarjung hospital also has not seen any deaths. “Although we haven’t reported a Covid-19 death in the hospital since the number of cases started going up in the last few days, the increase as per the bulletin keeps us informed that there might be more patients coming in,” said a senior doctor from the hospital, adding that cases of purely Covid-19 leading to deaths is not seen.

At Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, there has only been one death recorded since cases started going up during the current uptick. “The finding of Covid-19 is incidental. If the positivity rate in the community is 10%, it is natural that 10% of our patients will also have the infection. If the proportion of infection is higher in the hospital, then we can say that Covid-19 is leading to more serious disease or worsening any existing condition. Although the number of admissions in our Covid-19 ward has gone up, the proportion of infection we are finding in our patient is probably the same as the community,” said Dr Subhash Giri.

He said there haven’t been any deaths due to Covid-19 pneumonia in the hospital for several months now.


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