Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain Sunday attributed the recent uptick in Covid cases in Delhi to people from neighbouring states getting tested in the capital, which he said was also behind bed occupancy at hospitals remaining over 3,000.
On Sunday, the Delhi health bulletin logged 1,300 fresh Covid cases, taking the number of active cases to 10,729. The city recorded 1,225 recoveries from the infection, which claimed 13 more lives, taking the toll to 4,111.
“We have observed that bed occupancy has remained static for some time now. At one point, about 100 beds were getting vacant daily. Upon analysing, we found that out of all the patients admitted to the hospitals on Saturday, 97 were from other states and 224 from Delhi. This has been the trend and that is why hospital occupancy is not reducing,” Jain said.
According to the corona dashboard maintained by the Delhi government, of the 13,517 beds for Covid patients in Delhi’s government and private hospitals, 3,083 are occupied. The break-up shows that 399 out of 1,217 ventilator-equipped beds are occupied and 309 of 952 ICU beds are full.
Jain also linked the recent rise in daily case count to people “in large numbers from outside Delhi, like Ghaziabad, Noida and Faridabad, getting tested here”.
“When our teams get in touch with those testing positive, many are found to be residents of other states,” he said.
Delhi recorded over 1,000 cases for the fifth day straight on Sunday. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday saw 1,076, 1,299 and 1,192 fresh cases, while Saturday saw 1,404 cases.
Asked about the status of testing, driven largely by the rapid antigen method, Jain said the government was following the ICMR protocol under which only those showing symptoms and carrying medical prescriptions can undergo RT-PCR, which is a lab-based test considered more reliable in detecting the virus. Sunday’s bulletin put the number of rapid tests at 18,085 and RT-PCR at 5,702.
Jain’s statement drew criticism from the BJP, with the party’s Delhi unit chief Adesh Gupta saying that it reflects the mindset of the ruling AAP’s leadership: “Be it migrant labourers or people from outside, they always attempt to evade their responsibilities by passing the buck onto others. They should focus on treating and helping people instead of trying to deceive people.”
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