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Mumbai: More than 50% city COVID cases in ICU

Mumbai: More than 50 per cent of current COVID cases in the city are being treated in the intensive care units (ICUs) of private hospitals. The recent rise in cases has been largely in the co-morbid and senior citizen categories. Some of these patients require hospitalisation, while others require oxygen. Interestingly, they were incidental admissions, meaning that they were hospitalised for some other ailment, but proved to be COVID-positive in RT-PCR testing.

According to the COVID dashboard of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 32 patients are in ICUs, 17 of whom are in private hospitals while 15 are at the civic-run SevenHills or Kasturba Hospitals. Five patients are in critical condition and on ventilator support, while 40 patients require oxygen support.

ICU patients likely to increase

A civic health department official said the number of ICU patients was likely to increase as there has been a drastic surge in the daily COVID cases across the city. “We will be witnessing a further rise in numbers, as cases are increasing. Currently, all incidental hospitalisation is being associated with COVID. No one has been admitted to the ICU for COVID. Most of the patients are senior citizens but there are some who are below 40 years of age,” said BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare.

According to a doctor from a private hospital, most patients in the hospital tested positive for COVID during the mandatory RT-PCR test done before surgery; otherwise, said the doctor, while cases are on the rise, they are mild and require symptomatic treatment in home isolation.

“We hardly have anyone in ICU due to COVID pneumonia. Most of them have aggravation of a problem related to their comorbidity. They are of varying ages but none of them are on oxygen support or a ventilator,” the doctor added.

Experts said mostly senior citizens are being admitted

On the other hand, civic-run hospitals are seeing more patients in need of ICU beds. “We have 13 patients admitted in the ICU, most of whom are senior citizens and suffering from comorbidities. Many of them are transfers from private hospitals, after having tested positive for COVID. COVID is not the problem but because of other health issues, we have to keep them in the ICU,” said Officer on Special Duty Maharudra Kumbhar, SevenHills Hospital.

Infectious disease experts from private hospitals say that while mostly senior citizens are being admitted to the COVID ICU as they have comorbidities, they are also seeing patients below 40 years of age. “There is a need for people to start following COVID-appropriate behaviour and start wearing masks, as cases will keep increasing in the coming days. Though the hospitalisation rate is low and the number of asymptomatic patients is high, we need to take precautions by wearing masks and vaccination is important,” said an expert on infectious diseases.

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