Delhi: New cases drop to 6,430 but deaths remain high

Delhi reported 6,430 Covid cases on Saturday at a positivity rate of 11.32%, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. The spread of the virus in the city has slowed over the past week, with cases dipping to 8,500 on Friday.

The number of deaths, however, are still high and 337 people died on Saturday. According to senior health department officials, this is because out of the several people who fell ill 10-12 days ago, many are still critical and on ICU support and some are not able to make it.

“The progression of the disease and deaths is such that you first start to see a spike in cases, followed by a spike in hospitalisation. Unfortunately, despite spending a week or two in ICUs, many people are not able to make it. We expect that the number of deaths in a day will start falling in the coming week,” an official said.

Kejriwal, meanwhile, said Delhi is readying ICU beds at a fast pace: “The spread of Covid is reducing slowly. We pray it doesn’t increase again. But if it does, we have readied 500 ICU beds. In the past 15 days, doctors and engineers have set up 1,000 ICU beds.”

These beds are being readied in Ramlila Grounds near GTB Hospital and Lok Nayak Hospital. At the facility outside GTB Hospital, 50 ICU beds have been occupied already.

Districts to get oxygen concentrator banks

Kejriwal also said the Delhi government is setting up an oxygen concentrator bank in each district, with 200 concentrators in each. These will be sent to people’s homes within two hours.

“If someone has Covid and are under home isolation, they sometimes can’t get oxygen on time. As a result, their condition worsens and they have to be admitted to the ICU. Therefore, getting oxygen on time is very important. We have started this bank for such patients. There will be 200 concentrators in each bank in each district,” he said.

The bank will also give concentrators to those who have been discharged but need oxygen. The CM said doctors will be in touch with patients needing oxygen at home and will assess their situation regularly.

A team from the district administration will bring the oxygen concentrator to the patient’s home. A person with technical know-how will also accompany them and explain to the caretaker how the concentrator is to be used. “If our team managing home isolation cases has not got in touch with you, please call 1031. If you need oxygen, it will be sent to you but a team of doctors will first assess your situation,” Kejriwal said.