The Delhi government on Tuesday released a mobile app that will give the live status of the number of hospital beds, ventilators and ICU beds available in the capital. With the app, they presumably hoped to be more accurate with the figures. However, already there are already discrepancies between the data released on the app, the daily health bulletins and the reality in each hospital.
At Lok Nayak Hospital, which is a dedicated COVID-19 Hospital, the Corona dashboard app states that of the 64 ventilators, 47 are occupied. Interestingly, the health bulletin states that there is only one person on the ventilator at LN Hospital and 37 positive cases in the intensive care unit (ICU). The app does not give information about the number of people in the ICU.
The reality in the hospital is different. “Both of these numbers are wrong. As of June 1, there are five patients on ventilators in the hospital. In the Medicine Ward, of the 16 ICU beds, 11 have been filled as of June 1. In the paediatric ICU, of the eight beds, six have been occupied,” said a health worker at LN Hospital who did not want to be identified.
The Delhi government’s health bulletin states that at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), there are a total of 11 COVID-19 patients on ventilators at both the Delhi and Jhajjar facilities. However, the app shows that no COVID-19 patient is on ventilator support at AIIMS.
Similarly, according to the health bulletin, there are seven COVID-19 positive cases in the ICU at Central government-administered Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, of which two are on ventilators. But the app again shows another picture. The Corona Dashboard App shows that there are 11 COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators in the hospital and a total of 28 ventilators are available for patients infected by Coronavirus. “At RML hospital, there are six COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators and six COVID-19 positive patients on high oxygen supply,” said a health care worker in the hospital.
At Safdarjung Hospital, which too comes under the Central government, the health bulletin shows that six COVID-19 positive patients are on ventilators. Here the numbers match with the app, which also shows that six patients are on ventilator support.
At Lady Hardinge Medical College, also under the Central government, the app states that only 1 person is on the ventilator, while the health bulletin reports that no person is on the ventilator.
At Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in east Delhi, the Delhi government’s health bulletin states that no COVID-19 patient is on the ventilator though there are 39 positive cases in the ICU. The app shows that that there is one person on the ventilator.
If we were to consider Sir Ganga Ram Hospitals (Kolmet and City) there are 8 patients on ventilators, according to the health bulletin. The app
shows that 12 Covid-19 positive patients on ventilators in both these hospitals. That is a difference of 4 beds.
In case of Fortis Hospital in east Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, the health bulletin shows two patients are on ventilator support, but the app shows only one person is on ventilator support. There is a similar difference of one in case of Apollo Hospital; the health bulletin shows five patients are on ventilator support, while the app shows six.
Of all the private hospitals, Max Hospital in south Delhi’s Saket area has the maximum number of patients in the ICU – 32. At Max there are 4 patients on ventilators, according to the bulletin. Here too the numbers on the Corona App and the health bulletin match. The App also shows only four people are on ventilators.
The number of patients who tested positive for Coronavirus and are on ventilator support matches in both the app and the health bulletin in case of Batra Hospital and Maha Durga Charitable Trust.
This lack of data transparency and fudging of numbers comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi are spiking. The national Capital has over 20,000 COVID-19 positive cases and 11,565 active cases, making it one of the more severely affected areas in the country.
The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had stated that as of June 2, 92 ventilators out of 302 were occupied and of the 6,731 hospital beds earmarked for COVID-19, 2819 were occupied.