India is witnessing a hospitalisation rate of 5-10 per cent in the third Covid wave, the government said today, adding that the situation is “dynamic and evolving and the need of hospital care may change rapidly”. In the second wave, the official data says, the hospitalisation rate was in the range of 20-23 per cent.
Warning of a bigger surge in cases than the previous wave, the government, however, warns that for every 100 Delta cases, there could be 400-500 Omicron cases. There could be 125-250 hospitalisations for every 100 in the second wave, the data indicates.
A massive spike of 1.79 lakh fresh cases was recorded this morning; the daily positivity was reported to be 13.29 per cent. About 10 days ago, the country was registering an average of 10,000-15,000 cases daily.
“The rise, it appears, is being driven by the Variant of Concern (VOC) “Omicron” and the continued presence of another VoC “Delta” in large geographies across the country,” the Health Ministry said today.
India has so far reported over 4,000 cases of the new variant that has fuelled a fresh spike in infections worldwide.
All states and union territories have been asked to keep a daily watch on oxygen beds, ICU beds, and ventilator support. The Covid Care centres have to be upgraded to oxygen-supported beds when required, the government has said, also underscoring on engaging junior doctors, nursing, and MBBS students to ensure adequate healthcare staff.
Amid the alarming surge, Delhi, Maharashtra, and other states have been insisting they are prepared to handle the rise in infections with enough hospital beds, highlighting the low hospitalisations so far.
Lessons have been learned from the second wave, some top officials have pointed out, when a majority of big cities in the country buckled under the pressure of an increase in the demand for hospital beds and medical oxygen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the Covid situation in the country. The virus is evolving rapidly and genome sequencing is important, he said, pointing out that there is a need to speed up the vaccination of teens, which began last week.
Today, the country began booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers and those above 60 with illnesses.