Spike in breathing difficulties in second wave of COVID-19: ICMR

Delhi faces hospital beds shortage as coronavirus cases surge
Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

New Delhi: A latest survey offers significant insights into the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 now on in India.

There is no significant difference between the first and second waves of COVID-19, and the mortality rate also remained almost the same, a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) found.

The Council, however, noticed a relative increase in complaints of shortness of breath during the second wave. The observations were made after an interim study conducted among a specific number of COVID-19 patients.

As many as 47.5 per cent of patients who sought treatment during the second wave complained of shortness of breath compared with 41.7 per cent during the first wave.

The demand for ventilators showed a decrease, but the number of patients requiring medical-grade oxygen increased, the ICMR study revealed. The Council also noticed a decrease in symptomatic patients.

The study found fewer patients with comorbidities such as diabetes and heart conditions during the second wave compared to the first. Of the hospitalised patients, 48.6 per cent are with comorbidities, down from 54.9 per cent reported during the first wave.

ICMR ruled out the argument that mostly the young were contracting the pandemic-causing virus now. The Council said the spread remained the same, mostly affecting those aged above 40. The study revealed 70 per cent of the patients are 40 plus.


The asymptomatic and those with minor symptoms need not seek treatment at hospitals. They can be home treated.

Those with medium symptoms may be discharged from hospitals after providing treatment based on COVID guidelines

Increase the availability of medical-grade oxygen

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