Delhi saw 93 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with two people dying of the disease. This takes the death toll from the virus in the city to six. Most of the cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, were from among those who went to the Nizamuddin Markaz gathering last month. Of the 386 COVID-19 cases in Delhi, 259 are linked to the Markaz gathering.
The two victims are a 74-year-old man from East Delhi and a 70-year-old man from Tamil Nadu. The former was brought dead to a private hospital on Thursday. The latter died at AIIMS Jhajjar after being moved there from Nizamuddin on Tuesday.
“He tested positive for COVID-19 but had other comorbidities, including uncontrolled diabetes,” said Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of the hospital, about the 70-year-old.
On the East Delhi resident, a health official said: “He had fever for the past few days so as a precautionary measure, his family got him tested and the results came back positive. We have traced those who were living with him.”
His 32-year-old daughter and two-year-old granddaughter lived with him at his residence in IP Extension. His wife was in Shahdara and has been quarantined there. “We are trying to find out how he contracted it. He had no travel history, but since he was on dialysis, his immunity was weak,” said the official.
“So far, a possible link is that the deceased’s sister-in-law lives in Shahdara had visited the family a few days ago. Shahdara is close to Dilshad Garden, which is a coronavirus hotspot in Delhi. We are investigating further,” added the official.
On the cases inching towards 400, the CM said: “These figures are worrisome at first glance but when we look at the background of the cases, we see that cases of local transmission — disease spreading from a known infected person to another — are still low.”
Apart from the Markaz gathering, of the 386 cases so far, 58 have a history of foreign travel. Many of them are not from Delhi but were admitted to hospitals in the city, he said. Cases of local transmission are 38. The remaining 31 are under investigation, which means officials are trying to find out how they were infected.
“If we look at the data, we can see that there is no big spike in local transmission figures. This is reassuring because it says, so far, that in Delhi, the disease is not spreading very fast. Our efforts, the efforts of the central and the state governments, as well as those of the people, are paying off. But we have to maintain social distancing and honour the lockdown,” said Kejriwal.
Of the patients, two are on ventilator support while the others are stable. “We are tracking both the speed of the spread and the death rate of the disease. These factors are under control so far. But if we don’t follow the lockdown strictly, we will not even come to know when the disease will spread,” he said.
The Delhi government also launched a new helpline number, 8800007722, to disseminate information about coronavirus as well as relief efforts for those who are in need of shelter or food.
Kejriwal also said the government will address students on Saturday: “Our government and private schools have around 44 lakh students, and I’m sure they have a lot of questions now that they are sitting at home. At 3 pm tomorrow, Manish Sisodia ji, a few experts and I will interact with students and parents. We will address them on ‘Parenting in the times of Coronavirus’ and try to answer all questions.”
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines