Delhi recorded 792 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 15,257 till Wednesday. This is the highest number of cases reported in a day so far.
The previous highest spike in fresh cases — 660 — was recorded on May 22. The death toll in the city reached 303 after 15 more deaths were updated by the state health department, post examining the death summaries shared by the hospitals.
About 34% of the cases have cropped up in the city after relaxations announced in lockdown 4. There were 10,054 cases and 160 deaths on May 18. The number grew to 15,257 cases and 303 deaths on Wednesday.
When the lockdown was eased, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the government anticipated a rise in cases, but was ready for it. In preparation, 117 more private hospitals/nursing homes and 1,500 beds with oxygen support in GTB hospital were added for the treatment of Coronavirus patients.
The 303 deaths have been updated by the health department after examination by a three-member audit committee formed on May 20. The committee audits the cases after receiving death summaries from hospitals.
The death rate in the city has also marginally increased, from 1.59% on May 18 to 1.98% on Wednesday. “The continuous rise in the number of cases is a cause of worry. The focus should be on having a low mortality rate. With the change in lockdown rules, it is extremely crucial for people to follow social distancing and maintain hand hygiene. Considering the mortality rate, which is hovering around 1.5-1.9%, if the entire Delhi is infected with the disease, the death numbers would be quite high,” said Dr DK Tempe, former dean of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC).
The recovery rate in Delhi is 47.67%, higher than the national average, which is around 42%. At present, there are there are 7,690 active coronavirus cases in the city, of whom 2,118 are availing treatment in 13 Covid-designated (seven private and six government) hospitals while the rest are either at Covid health centres, care centres or under home isolation. Among those admitted to hospitals, 191 are admitted to the ICU and 32 are on ventilator support.
“However, the recovery rate in Delhi is still better than the national average, and if more people are recovering from the disease, then gradually the recovery rate will also reach around 50%. This can only be done if people are aware of the dos and don’ts for the disease,” added Dr Tempe.
To meet the demand in the coming days, the health department has ordered 30,000 PPE kits (to add to the 50,000 in stock), 3.5 lakh N95 masks, 28 ventilators and 435 oxygen concentrators. In a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday, Health Secretary Padmini Singla said there are 4,462 beds across the capital’s hospitals for Covid-19 patients. The LG was further informed that there are 429 ICU beds, 343 ventilators and 2,632 oxygen supported beds available in the designated Covid hospitals.
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