Delhi’s doubling rate indicates that the city could record around 1 lakh Covid cases by the end of the month, said Dr Mahesh Verma, head of the five-member committee appointed by the Delhi government.
“The trend we are looking at suggests that the cases are getting doubled in 14-15 days. There are four epicentres in India — Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Delhi. If we follow the trend then by the end of this month, there will be around 1 lakh cases. We will require 15,000 beds by the end of June. Of the total cases, 20-25% will require hospitalisation and 5% cases need ICU/ventilators. The option we have is to convert more hospitals in Delhi into Covid-only hospitals,” said Verma
As of now, there are 8,280 Covid beds in hospitals in Delhi, and the demand will go up to 15,000 beds by the end of this month, the panel had told the Delhi government. Of these 15,000 beds, almost 5% would be required in the ICU.
The committee also suggested ways to augment the city’s health infrastructure. “Adding just a bed will not serve any purpose. Even if the beds are placed in the stadiums or any other place, it is important to have oxygen concentrators. The government has already purchased 2,500 portable oxygen concentrators,” he added.
The committee also suggested that patients in the recovery phase be shifted to hotels attached with the hospitals. “Patients with mild symptoms don’t need hospitalisation. Also, Covid patients who are in the recovery phase can be shifted to hotels for further treatment. We have suggested this to the government, but the final decision lies with them,” said Verma.
As the number of cases rise, the city’s recovery rate — the rate at which patients are recovering — has come down by almost 10 percentage points over the past two weeks. On Sunday, the city saw 1,282 fresh Covid cases, while 51 more casualties were added to the list by the health department, taking the death toll to 812. Of these 51 deaths, 21 occurred on Thursday and 12 on Friday. Figures for Saturday and Sunday are awaited. Total cases recorded so far are 28,936.
Two weeks ago, on May 24, cases in Delhi stood at 13,418, and the recovery rate was 48.7%, among the best in the country. On Sunday, when total cases more than doubled over two weeks, the recovery rate stood at 38%. The national recovery rate is 48.3%.
Officials said the rate has dropped as the burden of cases has more than doubled over the past two weeks. “Many patients take close to two weeks to recover. Those who are serious might take longer. We have seen an average of over 1,200 cases every day for the past week or so. These people will take time to recover. If the surge in the number of cases slows, we should see the recovery rate rising again by next week,” said a senior government official.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon recorded the highest spike in cases so far on Sunday, with 230 more people testing positive. The district now has 1,922 cases, of whom 451 have recovered and four have died.
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