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As Delhi sees highest single-day Covid toll, plan to press stadiums and large halls into service

Delhi recorded 19,486 new cases of Covid-19 infections and 141 deaths on Friday; positivity rate continues to hover around 20%.

Written by Mallica Joshi , Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: April 16, 2021 10:10:42 pm
Delhi, Covid-19Health workers stand beside the body of a patient who died of Covid-19 in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Delhi recorded 19,486 new cases of Covid-19 infections and 141 deaths — the highest single-day toll so far — on Friday, taking the total number of people infected with the disease in the city to more than 8 lakh. A total of 97,097 new infections have been recorded in the last one week.

The positivity rate continues to stay around 20% as even on Friday, the city tested 98,957 people out of which 19.69% were found to be positive. With the positivity rate at alarming levels, the Delhi government has issued orders to prepare facilities in numbers larger than they were last year.

In a review meeting held on Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed officials to create more Covid facilities and to increase the strength of oxygen beds across the city. He also asked officials to ensure real-time availability of beds on Delhi Corona app.

“Our health teams must reach out to every patient in home isolation and provide oximeters, the general public should receive every assistance while they are in home isolation. The Delhi government should provide oxygen beds to every patient who is in need, for which more Covid facilities and hospital beds are required,” he said.

Relatives wait outside Mortuary for the body of Covid patient in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was present in the meeting with Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain, said that the administrators of each district have been asked to prepare facilities like the one created at the Commonwealth Games Village in East Delhi last year.

“One such facility will come up in each district. These should start functioning by Monday or Tuesday. Stadia, halls or big grounds will be identified by the local administration and these will be pressed into service soon. Oxygen administration will also be available,” said Sisodia, who was appointed the nodal minister for Covid-19 management in the city on Friday.

According to sources, the government wants to create over 10,000 beds in these facilities, but to begin with, districts have been asked to identify places that can be converted quickly and efficiently.

The Delhi Corona app, which is supposed to provide information about bed availability in Covid hospitals, will also be updated more regularly, the Deputy CM said. Several patients and their attendants have been complaining about the functioning of the app, with many finding saying the availability of hospital beds does not match the information available.

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