With 427 cases, the total COVID-19 cases in Delhi rose to 4,549 on Sunday. This is the single biggest jump in cases the city has seen. No new deaths were reported and the toll remained unchanged at 64.
Of all the cases reported in the city so far, over a third — 1,631 out of 4,549 — have been reported in the past week. The total number of recoveries in the capital is lower than this figure. On Sunday, 106 people recovered.
Of those who tested positive on Sunday, 21 were healthcare workers from Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, taking the total number of infected staff in the hospital to 81. So far, close to 400 healthcare workers across the city have tested positive.
While Delhi was in favour of a lockdown in the first two phases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday and Sunday that the city is ready to open up now, keeping in mind the economic distress.
“Corona is something we need to learn to live with. During the lockdown previously, we got the time to build capacity and we did that. Our roadmap is ready, even in the event that we have 30,000 active cases,” he said.
The government had previously said that it would take over private hospitals, hotels, community centres and dharamshalas in a phase-wise manner, depending on the number of cases it gets.
On Sunday, the active cases were 3,123. Of these 76 are in the ICU and 13 on ventilators.
“We have enough space in hospitals. Only about 20% of those infected require hospitalisation, and home isolation guidelines are out. The virus will infect almost everyone, what matters is the rate of spread of disease. Now that the capacity in hospitals has been built, we believe we are ready. For how long can we shut down the city? Coffers are completely empty and the government doesn’t have the money to pay salaries. The economic distress will have more far-reaching effects than the disease,” said a senior government official who did not want to be named.
Delhi has tested 60,246 people so far and 7.5% of those have tested positive. The government claimed it has conducted the highest tests per million in the country. Kejriwal said the only way to deal with the disease was to test as many people as possible and isolate them and test their contacts.
The government, however, did not share data on how many test reports were pending — an issue that the union health ministry had flagged in a meeting last week and said contributed to rise in cases as people were not being isolated fast enough as the city waited for results.
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