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96% of hospitalised patients in Mumbai are unvaccinated: BMC commissioner

96% of hospitalised patients in Mumbai are unvaccinated: BMC commissioner

Mumbai: In a worrying trend, data collected by the Brihanmunbai Municipal Corporation has shown that the majority of hospitalised Covid-19 patients and those using oxygen facilities are unvaccinated people above the age of 50, as the third wave of the pandemic slowly etches across the landscape of India.

"Out of the around 1,900 Covid patients who were on oxygenated beds, around 96% are unvaccinated and only 4% are vaccinated," Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC) municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal, citing data till January 6. The BMC data was correlated by doctors who told the Hindustan Times that the majority of hospitalised sick patients were unvaccinated and elderly.

Dr Gautam Bhansali of the Bombay Hospital, who is also coordinator of all private hospitals in the city, told HT that: "In case of hospital beds, both vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens are occupants, but on oxygen beds, the majority of patients are unvaccinated. The age group of such patients is normally above 40 to 50 years."

Doctors and epidemiologists Have expressed concerns at vaccine hesistancy and partial vaccination which may be causing infections in people and resulting in more severe disease. While the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, is not causing severe illness, the impact could be worse amongst the unvaccinated, they said.

In addition to this, fears of patients contracting both Delta and Omicron variants could also lead to a rise in hospitalisations and use of oxygen facilities the Hindustan Times Report said.

"We may even have 100,000 Covid active patients in Mumbai. Our oxygen consumption is only 10 tonnes. Our production capacity is up to 200 tonnes a day. We have another 400 tonnes of oxygen in storage. In the third wave, we have to understand that positivity rate or cases will not be parameter with which to gauge the situation but hospitalisation rate. The occupation of oxygen and ICU beds along with the overall bed occupancy rate is to be gauged," said an official, asking not to be named.

Igbal Chauhal has assured the public that the city was preparing for the worst case scenario but that as of now, 80% of ICU beds were unoccupied.

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