The Centre has warned that the five most COVID-affected states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, may face a shortage in hospital inventory between – ICU beds, ventilators etc – June and August amid a steady rise in cases.
The government has also said that although the national Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is stable, it is high in 69 districts.
The observations were made at a meeting of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with chief secretaries and health secretaries.
According to the Centre’s estimation, as reported by Indian Express, Delhi which may have already run out of ICU beds on June 3, will exhaust all its ventilators by June 12 and isolation beds with oxygen supply by June 25.
A tug of war has broken out between the Delhi government and the Centre over the allocation of hospital beds in the national capital. While the AAP government earlier announced that beds will be reserved only for Delhites, the decision was overturned by Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
The Delhi government on Friday (June 12) announced that the lockdown will not be extended in the capital, despite a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Similarly, Maharashtra may face a shortage of ICU beds on August 8, and may run out of ventilators by July 27. The state, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases (97,648), more than China’s Wuhan from where the virus originated.
Tamil Nadu too is projected to run out of ICU beds and ventilators by June 9 and isolation beds with oxygen by July 21. The state has recorded 38,716 cases with Chennai being the worst affected of all. The Madras High Court on Thursday asked the state government why the city, which accounts for 70% (25,000) of the total cases, can’t be locked down.
The Centre made similar projections for the states of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
The governments of these states were asked to keep an action plan ready while emphasising the upgradation of the health system and ensure sufficient hospital capacity through advance planning for the next two months.
As the Lockdown 5.0 deadline of June 15 inches closer, states like Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jharkhand and Kerala also plan to enforce tighter curbs.