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Eight lakhs is not enough—India must add at least two lakh Covid beds to counter new waves of pandemic–Study

Covid 19 and its threats

India must be ready with a localized strategic plan in case of a third Covid wave in the country.

As India gets into the festive mode, a joint study conducted by industry body Ficci and EY India, highlighted that nine to 10 lakh Covid beds were required during the severe second wave with a peak of more than four lakh daily cases. However, with the existing infrastructure, demand for about eight lakh Covid beds can be met, “leaving a shortfall of about two lakh beds of which 84 per cent is contributed by six states and 180—200 districts.”

Also read: India’s daily count of fresh Covid-19 infections slows to 8-month low

However, in the event of a third wave with 50 per cent lower incidence with about two lakh daily cases and 50 per cent lower hospitalizations, an estimated three to four lakh Covid beds would be required and hence ‘surge capacity’ requirement may be minimal to nil, the study noted.

Importantly, it also said that about 80 per cent of the total cases in the world today are mild with symptoms that can be managed with minimal clinical intervention and home isolation. Approximately 15 per cent cases are moderate which require oxygenation and some level of clinical intervention. Only around 5 per cent cases are severe requiring critical care.

Subhrakant Panda, Vice President, FICCI. who is also the Chair of the FICCI Covid Task Force said in a statement that given that most countries have faced Covid 19 pandemic in waves, it is imperative to prepare as well as plan appropriately for any future waves.

“It is crucial that the general public does not develop ‘Covid fatigue’ and ‘vaccine complacency’ presuming that the pandemic is over,” he pointed out.