COVID hospitalisations go up in Bengaluru: Where the numbers stand

Those unvaccinated are also 10 times more likely to be hospitalised than those who are vaccinated.
Health professionals preparing a Covid-19 ward
Health professionals preparing a Covid-19 ward
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On January 8, Karnataka recorded 8,906 new cases of COVID-19, of which 7,113 cases were reported from Bengaluru alone. In contrast, 1,023 cases were recorded in Bengaluru for the entire week of December 24-December 30, 2021. With the onset of the new year, Karnataka and especially Bengaluru is experiencing a steep surge in COVID-19 cases triggering the state government to announce weekend curfew for the next two weeks.

Like elsewhere in the country, the sudden rise in cases has been attributed to the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus. According to state government data, the positivity rate of Bengaluru has crossed 10%. The positivity rate for the week between December 31, 2021 and January 6, 2022 was 4.2%; and it was 0.88% in the week between December 24 and December 30, 2021.

According to officials, the number of people who have been hospitalised too have consistently increased over the past week, for the first time since the peak of the second wave. According to the BBMP War Room report on Friday, January 7, the number of hospitalisations on January 5 and 6 were 39 and 49 respectively. In comparison, the number of admissions were 78 for the week between December 29, 2021 and January 4, 2022.

However, while the number of hospitalisations have increased, the number of deaths due to the virus have not seen any spike.

In wake of this, state Health Commissioner D Randeep, IAS, said that daily information of hospitalisation across the state will be made available as part of the War Room reports.

Vaccines preventing severe cases

Munish Moudgil, Head of the State COVID War Room, said that across the state, an analysis of patients testing positive between January 1 and 7 showed that unvaccinated persons are 10 times more likely to have manifested the infection than those who got both the jabs. Further, those who are unvaccinated are 30 times more likely to land in the ICU or HDU, compared to the vaccinated population.

He reasoned, “With 97% citizens vaccinated and 3% unvaccinated, ideally if both were equally vulnerable to COVID then for every 100 COVID cases or hospitalised cases – 97 should have been vaccinated and three should have been unvaccinated. But proportionately, the unvaccinated constitute 10 times the number COVID patients and 30 times more in ICU.”

A majority of the COVID-19 patients who have been admitted to government hospitals in Bengaluru currently have been fully vaccinated. According to the staff at these institutions, the vaccination status data has been sought at the state government level. Broadly, administrative officers at KCG General Hospital, Victoria Hospital, Bowring Hospital and CV Raman Nagar General Hospital said that most of their patients undergoing COVID treatment are fully vaccinated. Comparing this to the government data, this suggests that most of the unvaccinated persons who are hospitalised are admitted to private hospitals.

While most of the hospitals are yet to table this data, among the 32 patients in KCG, 24 patients are fully vaccinated. Among the 32 patients, six patients are in ICU while the other 26 are in high-dependency units (HDU). Among these 26, 21 are fully vaccinated with two shots, and five patients including three infants had no shots. Among the ICU patients, three are fully vaccinated, and one had a single dose while the rest were not vaccinated. But information with regard to the age and comorbidities of patients are not recorded by the hospital administration.

Other hospitals too, said that they had no ready data in terms of other factors like the nature of their exposure, but a majority of the admitted patients have two doses of vaccines.

Meanwhile amid the steep surge in cases and hospitalisation, there has been no increase in liquid medical oxygen demand in the state so far.

Editor's note: The headline was changed as the previous headline could be misinterpreted. The statement about 30 times more unvaccinated people in ICUs is from the Karnataka state COVID war room chief, and TNM has not independently verified the data supporting this statement.

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