Delhi deaths hit 5,000; India sees 100k daily recoveries
With 32 new deaths due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) reported on Monday, the total number of people who have died from the viral infection in Delhi crossed the 5,000 mark as the resurgence of the infections in city continued.
According to Monday’s government health bulletin, 2,548 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections in the Capital to 249,259. The infection has killed a total of 5,014 people till Sunday, while 213,304 people have recovered.
At an average, 35 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 every day in the past week. This is the highest the seven-day average of deaths has been in two months (since July 21). The highest number of deaths reported in a day during the September resurgence in cases was 38 (on September 17 and 19). This was the highest number of deaths reported in 24-hours in over two months.
Delhi’s case fatality rate (CFR) — the proportion of confirmed cases that have died due to the disease — is 2.0%, much higher than the national CFR of 1.6%.
The Delhi government officials, however, said they have been able to control deaths better in the recent resurgence of cases than they did in the initial surge in June. “Very few deaths are being reported right now in comparison to the number of cases. Death is always seen as a percentage,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain.
“A person who gets diagnosed today will not die on day 1, they might die on day 4 or day 6 so we need to look at the trend of deaths over some time,” said Dr Neeraj Gupta, professor of pulmonology at Safdarjung hospital. “With Covid-19 beds filling up in bigger hospitals, many patients may go to smaller centres that may not be equipped to handle complicated Covid-19 cases,” he said.
With the increase in the number of hospitalisations – over 7,000 reported on Saturday and Sunday – hospitals have been slowly filling up in the Capital. Delhi currently has 3,081 ICU (intensive care unit) beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients. Of these, 67.4% are already occupied, according to Delhi corona app.
The occupancy, however, is much higher at the big multi-speciality private hospitals.
“The occupancy is higher in big private hospitals of the city because many patients from outside Delhi know of these hospitals and come there specifically for treatment. Nearly 30% of all admitted Covid-19 patients in Delhi are from other states. But, there are still about 1,000 ICU beds vacant and hospitals are working on increasing beds,” Jain said, adding that over 1,500 beds were added for Covid-19 treatment over the last 10 days, of which 500 were ICU beds.
The city again saw a dip in the number of tests and cases over the weekend. Only 33,733 samples were tested in the last 24 hours against an average of around 58,000 daily tests over the past week. With fewer tests, the positivity rate – fraction of people who test positive among those tested – also went up slightly to 7.6%. Experts say that a positivity rate of below 5% over two weeks ideally indicates that the outbreak is in control.
“Although, the sero surveillance has shown about 30% presence of antibodies infections are still being reported from areas where fewer infections were reported during June. Now, Delhi needs to focus on keeping the mortality low by keeping close watch on the old and those with comorbidities,” said Dr Puneet Mishra, professor of community medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
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