Infectious diseases expert Parikshit Prayag observed that typical as it was in many countries, the second wave saw a steep rise and steep fall with the plateau phase either short or absent.
The maximum Covid-19 occupancy during the first wave at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, among the biggest facilities in Pune, had reached 450 patients last September. It went up to 600-650 patients during the second wave in mid-April this year.
“Currently, we have 210 patients. Of these, 60 are in the intensive care unit,” the hospital’s medical director Dhananjay Kelkar said.
Inquiries seeking admission to the hospital have dropped by about 80%. Since there has been a significant fall in suspected Covid patients with flu-like illness, the hospital shut down its dedicated fever unit meant for medical consultation on outpatient department basis this week.
“In April, we had over 450 suspected patients daily complaining of Covid-like symptoms at our fever OPD. The numbers dropped to 100 in the first week of May and slid further. We have temporarily closed down our fever unit after only five-six patients started approaching with flu-like symptoms,” Kelkar said.
At Bharati Hospital, the authorities withdrew 75% of the staff from its dedicated fever unit meant for suspected Covid patients.
“The fever OPD number has come down from 400 suspected patients daily to just seven patients now. The RT-PCR tests have come down from an average of 300 tests per day to just 51 tests per day,” the hospital’s deputy medical director Jitendra Oswal said.
The facility also reported an over 80% reduction in patients needing hospitalisation. The hospital currently has 67 patients with 37 in the ICU.
“Only two to three patients approach us for admission every day now. We have temporarily closed down some of our Covid wards. This is a complete turnaround. In mid-April, we had over 370 patients undergoing treatment and at that time, we often had no option but to refuse more admissions,” Oswal said.
He said they saw a slow rise in the number of cases during the first wave and it had lasted longer. “During the second wave, we saw a quick rise in a short span, more numbers, and more ICU admissions. Besides, a sizeable number of children, adolescents and young adults needed hospitalisation,” Oswal added.
Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (ABMH), among the biggest Covid-19 hospitals in Pimpri Chinchwad, also reported a 50% drop in admissions.
Compared with the urban areas where the daily number of cases has reduced to three digits, rural parts of the Pune district continued to report a sizeable number of cases, and many reports at ABMH.
“Currently, we have around 140 Covid patients undergoing treatment with us with 35 patients in the ICU. We had an occupancy of 375 patients during the second wave,” the hospital’s chief executive officer Rekha Dubey said.