Delhi government has said that hospitals may use one-third of the beds reserved for coronavirus patients for those suffering from vector-borne diseases, if the need arises.
The order came in the wake of surge in cases of dengue in the capital.
Delhi has reported over 1,000 cases of dengue this year, with more than 280 cases logged in the last week, according to a civic report released on Monday.
Of the total number of dengue cases this season, 665 were recorded in the first 23 days of this month alone.
The city recorded its first death due to the vector-borne disease this season on October 18.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"It is observed that the number of cases of Dengue/Malaria/Chikunguniya are on a rise, with increasing demand of beds for these patients. Further many of the beds reserved for Covid cases are lying vacant due to the decline in number of Covid cases,” the order issued on Friday read.
The health department directed the medical directors and medical superintendents of Delhi government run hospitals to use one third of the beds reserved for treating of COVID patients, including ICU beds, for treating people suffering from dengue, malaria and chikunguniya , if required.
Out of 10,594 beds for COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the national capital, only 164 are occupied.