Covid-19 cases are rising in Karnataka, but the number of ICU admissions, thankfully, remains static.

Both Bengaluru and Karnataka are in the contentment zone

Karnataka may be seeing a surge in covid cases, but there does not seem to be a proportionate rise in the number of covid admissions to Intensive Care Units (ICU). On August 11, the state added 6,257 patients, thereby taking the total number of positive cases to 1,88,611. Yet, the ICU admissions (among the total 79,606 active cases) remained 699. Out of 699, Bengaluru’s share has been 329, which has been more or less the same in the last few weeks).

Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare Department, Pankaj Kumar Pandey attributed the near static number of ICU cases to better treatment and increase in the number of people discharged from covid wards.

Well-known epidemiologist Giridhar R. Babu said there could be two reasons for the static numbers of ICU admissions – one, patients in ICU don’t get discharged soon and two, maybe complicated cases that need ICU admissions are actually few. “The latter happens when more young people get infected than elderly and comorbid people. For the last one week, ICU beds were almost all occupied. If their numbers are remaining static, then it is a positive sign. Generally, when an epidemic hits the city, most vulnerable people get infected first and then it spreads to other sections of the society.

Around 85 to 90 per cent of the patients in India are asymptomatic. Only 10 to 15 per cent require medical care and about three per cent require ICU admission. The number of sick patients requiring ICU has decreased.


— Dr Jagadish Hiremath, CEO, Ace Suhas Hospital

If you are doing reverse quarantine well, which means the elderly and those with co-morbidities are carefully managed, then they don’t get infected or don’t end up in ICU,” said Babu. According to the Karnata­ka State War Room data (August 9), out of the 1.78 lakh cases, 39,298 patients are in the age group of 21-30; 37,975 are between 31 and 40 and 20,513 are above 60 years. Around 83 per cent of the patients in Karnataka are asymptomatic.


Dr Rajesh Mohan Shetty, consultant (critical care management) from Manipal Hospital said that the disease pattern has changed now compared to July.

According to him, patients were less sick. “In July, almost every patient was on a ventilator in ICU and many required prone ventilation whereas now no one is prone ventilated and only about 10 per cent of ICU patients are on ventilator. We also know that the R0 number has come down in Bengaluru (R Naught is the reproduction rate) It’s been at -1 since last week and is fluctuating). All these are good signs.”



According to Dr Jagadish Hiremath, CEO, Ace Suhas Hospital, around 85 to 90 per cent of the patients are asymptomatic in India. “Only 10 to 15 per cent of patients require medical care and about three per cent require ICU admission. The number of sick patients requiring ICU has decreased. This could be because of early identification and intervention. The government machinery too is well geared for contact tracing and this has improved recovery and lesser deaths.”

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Sagar Biswas

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