Delhi Covid cases rise by 660 in a single day, total death toll 208
Delhi’s tally on Friday crossed 12,000. The city-state also recorded 14 deaths, taking the toll over the 200 mark to 208, according to the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government.Updated: May 23, 2020 05:53 IST
The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the national capital rose by 660 between Thursday and Friday, the biggest single-day spike in the tally, according to figures released by the government.
Delhi’s tally on Friday crossed 12,000. The city-state also recorded 14 deaths, taking the toll over the 200 mark to 208, according to the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government.
Experts said that while the jump appeared to be the most serious yet, the numbers need to be studied along with testing data to determine the trajectory of the disease. An analysis of the daily new cases showed that the multiple in which cases have increased daily has varied in the range of 0.7-1.6 in the past week, with significant fluctuations that make it difficult to determine whether the growth of the outbreak has changed.
Officials and experts have said easing of the lockdown restrictions, resumption of long distance air and rail travel services, and the movement of hundreds of thousands of migrants are likely to lead to a spurt in infections.
“The calculation of the rate of increase based on the numbers that we have is very superficial. If you test more people, you will find more positive cases. We still do not know what percentage of the population was exposed to the infection,” said Dr Shobha Broor, former head of the department of microbiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
For the last four days, over 500 cases have been recorded in the daily health bulletin. This was the second of three scenarios for which a five-member expert committee had advised the Delhi chief minister to prepare. The first scenario was Delhi reporting 100 cases a day and the third was 1,000 cases a day.
The committee plans to co-opt private hospitals, hotels and rest houses for travellers for isolation wards as the number of cases start increasing in the city.
Broor warned that given the high proportion of asymptomatic cases, detecting new infections will be difficult. “None of the mathematical modeling have so far been able to predict the rise in the cases accurately. Plus, we say 80% of the cases are asymptomatic but we haven’t really done any serological studies to estimate the burden of the disease so far. We have to do antibody tests in selected cohorts both in high-burden and low burden areas to find out the number of asymptomatic cases there,” said Dr Broor.
It was the first time that the number of cases on a single day exceeded 600. So far, the national capital has reported 12,319 cases of the viral infection.
Of the 208 deaths, 135 have been added since May 12 when the three-member death review committee started recording previous fatalities after a discrepancy surfaced between the number of deaths reported in the daily health bulletin and the numbers from hospitals.
Home isolation has helped reduce the need for institutional isolation facilities, with almost 37% currently with the infection being in home quarantine. Of the 6,214 active cases, 1,835 people with severe symptoms have been admitted to designated Covid-19 hospitals.
Of the people in the hospitals, 169 are in the intensive care unit with 27 on ventilators, according to the Delhi health bulletin.