Delhi: COVID-19 cases dip but hospitals' patient-load still on rise
Delhi is witnessing a substantial decline in daily COVID-19 cases, but still, there's no respite for hospitals there as the patient load in outpatient departments (OPDs) continues to surge. In this second wave, patients are experiencing post-COVID-19 complications that are way serious than those witnessed earlier. Not just mucormycosis (black fungus infection), but patients are also reporting various other symptoms even weeks after recovery.
Serious complications in second wave; many back to ICUs post-recovery
Doctors in Delhi are seeing 25-30 patients suffering from post-COVID-19 complications in OPDs daily. Complications being seen in this wave are more serious as many patients are being kept on oxygen support for weeks, while some are back to ICUs even after recovery. Many are experiencing fever, fatigue, body/joint pains, and brain fog post-recovery; heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, and collapsed lungs were also reported.
OPDs flooded with patients suffering from post-recovery issues
Dr. Vivek Nangia, Head of the Department-Respiratory Medicine at Max Hospital in Delhi's Saket, told NDTV 70-80% of their OPDs are flooded with patients facing post-recovery complications. He said lung fibrosis was earlier seen in patients above 65 years and smokers, but now, many middle-aged persons, youngsters, and even children are getting admitted. Many patients are being kept on oxygen support even after discharge.
High-grade fever in some even 3-4 weeks after recovery
Many patients are complaining of persistent high-grade fever even three-four weeks post-recovery, says Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. "Steroids have also been used this time...we are perplexed whether this is just an inflammation...secondary infections," he said, adding apart from mucormycosis, other lung fungal infections and bacterial infections are seen. He said 80% of their recent admissions were for post-COVID-19 problems.
Majority of patients are experiencing lung failure post recovery
Meanwhile, Dr. Rajat Aggarwal, Additional Director of ICU at Delhi's Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, said at least 3-4 patients are being admitted to their ICU every day due to various post-COVID-19 problems. A majority of these patients are experiencing lung failure requiring ventilators, high oxygen support, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Some also have ruptured liver abscesses or gangrene of toes and fingers.
Be prepared to treat post-COVID-19 complications: AIIMS Delhi Director
To recall, last month, AIIMS (Delhi) Director, Dr. Randeep Guleria, said doctors across the country must be prepared to treat the post-COVID-19 complications that can last up to 12 weeks or more in some patients. He said that though the number of recoveries is on the rise, the burden on doctors and hospitals would also increase as many people may experience these post-COVID-19 issues.
Daily cases in Delhi have now decreased to around 500
To note, Delhi's daily COVID-19 infections have now dipped to around 500 cases, weeks after it witnessed an unprecedented surge in the deadly second wave. On Friday, it registered 523 new cases and 50 fatalities, pushing the death toll to 24,497. Meanwhile, on Friday, two committees constituted by the Delhi Government also reviewed the preparedness to deal with a possible third COVID-19 wave.