Mumbai has witnessed a 15-fold rise in the Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen support in the last 10 days. As per the data, there were only two patients on oxygen till May 26 which has increased to 33 as of June 10. Health officials have attributed this surge to a rise in daily cases and patients with comorbidities who require oxygen during admission.
Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the National Covid-19 Taskforce said, the numbers are not worrisome considering there is an overall jump in the cases. Moreover, the rate of hospitalisation has not increased compared to the previous waves.
“We need to be vigilant and monitor cases for the next two weeks as there will be a surge in daily cases. However, the good part is that most of them are asymptomatic and do not require hospitalisation,” he said.
Dr Pandit further said, “Hospital admissions are very low as only one per cent of the positive cases are admitted to hospitals in the state. It shows the severity is low and therefore it is not a major cause of concern. But we need to wait and watch the situation closely to come to any conclusion.”
Senior health experts from the civic health department said that the current requirement for oxygen is very less in the city and patients on oxygen support are also less than one per cent of overall active cases. However, they have enough oxygen to tackle further surges in requirements.
“Current requirement of oxygen is less than 50 metric tonnes per day compared to 250-300 metric tonnes during the third wave. Moreover, we have 41 oxygen plants in the city to meet the need in future,” he said.
Senior doctors from the civic-run hospital said, most of the patients are senior citizens and all have comorbidities due to which they require oxygen support. However, patients are recovering with no lung involvement.
“We have seen admissions after a long gap and currently we have around 12 patients. But patients are not coming with direct Covid pneumonia that we saw earlier,” he said.
Task force members reiterated, “Most of the cases are mild. But we need to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour of masking, hand hygiene, and social distancing.”