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Pollution from stubble burning behind Delhi’s high Covid death rate, says Jain

Jain further said pollution caused problems in breathing and those who had Covid-19 inhaled the smoke, which aggravated the seriousness of the disease.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 24, 2020 9:07:04 am
Water minister Satyendar JainSatyendar Jain instructed DJB to tap the Supplementary Drain at Rohini and treat the wastewater at the sewage treatment plant in the area. (file)

Health Minister Satyendar Jain Monday attributed the high Covid-19 death rate in the city to pollution caused by stubble burning, and said a downward trend is expected in the next two-three weeks.

Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday and a positivity rate of 11.94 per cent, while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll due to the virus to 8,512. This was the sixth time in 12 days that the daily number of deaths crossed the 100-mark in the national capital. The daily fatality rate was recorded at 1.83%.

“There was heavy pollution due to stubble burning amid the Covid-19 pandemic and it came as a double attack… Its effect on the city’s Covid-19 death rate will go away in the next two-three weeks since pollution due to stubble burning has lessened in the last few days,” he said.

Jain further said pollution caused problems in breathing and those who had Covid-19 inhaled the smoke, which aggravated the seriousness of the disease.

The city reported 111 deaths on Saturday, 118 on Friday, 131 on November 18 — the highest till date — and 104 on November 12.

Delhi has reported a death rate of 1.83 per cent among Covid-19 patients as compared to the national fatality rate of 1.46 per cent. As per data released by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare on Sunday, the national capital is at the top among 10 states and UTs where 77% of new cases and 76% of new deaths have been reported.

Jain said the number of fresh cases as well as the positivity rate are gradually going down in Delhi, showing that the situation is improving.

“Since November 7, when the positivity rate was more than 15 per cent, it has come down to over 12 per cent now. The number of fresh cases was over 8,500 on November 10, which reduced to 6,746 on Sunday,” he said.

The health minister said 9,418 hospital beds are occupied by Covid patients, whereas 7,900 are still vacant.

Meanwhile, members of a Delhi Assembly panel on environment met the newly-constituted commission on air quality and demanded strict action against Punjab and Haryana governments over stubble burning. The panel, headed by AAP MLA Atishi, also requested the commission to order Punjab and Haryana to resolve the issue using the bio decomposer technology developed by the PUSA institute.

 

 

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