As Lt Guv instructs Delhi hospitals to display availability of beds, charges, CM says, ‘Yes Boss’

As Lt Guv instructs Delhi hospitals to display availability of beds, charges, CM says, ‘Yes Boss’

In a significant move aimed at increasing “transparency and to facilitate public”, Lt Governor Anil Baijal of Delhi ordered all major hospitals in the city to prominently display the availability of beds, the room charges outside their establishments in large letters on LED boards.

Delhi’s health department has been advised to ensure that the data presented on these boards is in sync with the data on the government portal.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority, headed by the Lt Governor, also directed that there will be surprise checks and cautioned hospitals against turning away “genuine” patients.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said that it is not the time for disagreements, while affirming that L-G’s verdict to not reserve hospitals exclusively for Delhi residents for Covid-19 treatment will be followed in “letter and spirit”.

This week, the Lt Governor overruled the state government’s decision to reserve hospitals, except those run by the Central Government, for residents of Delhi. The state government’s decision to test only those showing symptoms of the virus was also overruled, allowing asymptomatic cases and high-risk contacts of a coronavirus patient to be tested.

In a letter, the Lt Governor’s office said that “Delhi belongs to all” and that none can be denied treatment for not being a resident of the city.

Meanwhile, a research paper published in the medical journal The Lancet has said that if the Covid-19 pandemic worsens with huge number of cases overwhelming healthcare systems, its impact could be similar to that of the 1918 HINI influenza outbreak, which left 50-100 million dead globally.

“The case-fatality ratio (CFR) of seasonal influenza is approximately 0·1 per cent, while the estimated CFR of Covid-19 was 5·9 per cent in Hubei province in China, and 0·98 per cent in all other regions of China,” the research paper led by Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

“High caseloads overwhelm healthcare systems and can lead to more deaths if medical systems become stressed. Should the pandemic worsen, its impact might be close to that of the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic, which had a CFR of more than 2 per cent and caused 50–100 million deaths worldwide,” Gao and his fellow researchers argued in the paper titled “Active case finding with case management: the key to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

The paper was published on June 6.

Since the World Health Organisation characterised the Covid-19 epidemic as a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the situation has been worsening. 

As of May 31, 2020, more than 200 nations had been impacted, with cases exceeding 7.3 million as of June 9.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the Harvard Medical School, Boston University of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital used satellite imagery of parking lots and disease-related search engine queries to investigate the possibility that coronavirus may have been circulating in Wuhan in China since August 2019.

The researchers say that they observed an upward trend in hospital traffic and search volume for disease-related terms beginning in late summer and early fall of 2019, indicating that the virus may have already been circulating before the identification of the Huanan market cluster in Wuhan late November, early December.