Ensure timely hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients in home isolation: L-G
Delhi lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday directed Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) officials to ensure timely hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients in home isolation in case of emergency to reduce the mortality rate in the city, which recorded more than 100 daily deaths in seven of the last 14 days, a senior official said.
In a DDMA meeting on Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal requested for a team of experts to audit recent cases of Covid-19 deaths in Delhi and suggest measures that could help reduce fatalities, the official said.
The DDMA is chaired by Baijal and its vice-chairperson is Kejriwal.
Delhi, on Wednesday, recorded 5,246 new Covid-19 cases and 99 more deaths, taking the death toll to 8,720. The positivity rate was recorded at 8.49%, the government’s health bulletin said.
So far, the highest number of deaths in a single day was recorded at 131 on November 18.
“Reviewed Covid-19 situation and implementation status of decisions taken during the meeting held under the Union Home Minister on 15 Nov, 2020, with special reference to scaling up testing, augmenting hospital capacities, conduct of house-to-house survey & review of home care. Emphasised enhanced IEC outreach, strict enforcement of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and continued and coordinated action to contain positivity and mortality,” Baijal said in a series of tweets after the meeting.
The chief minister’s office did not comment on the developments in the meeting.
A senior government official privy to the developments said Kejriwal urged the L-G to help assess the steep rise in deaths, which Delhi has witnessed in November, and suggest ways to reduce them.
An expert committee the L-G had set up to advise DDMA on Covid-19 include Dr V K Paul, member of the NITI Aayog, and Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS. The committee helps DDMA in all aspects of Covid-19 management, but for death audits on a routine basis, a separate committee was set up by the Delhi government.
The death audit committee would continue to function, the official said.
The CM’s request for an audit by experts comes against the backdrop of the civic agencies, which are entrusted with cremations and burials, alleging discrepancies in data related to Covid-19 deaths.
In Wednesday’s DDMA meeting, another senior official said, the L-G reviewed the ICU bed shortage in Delhi. The CM told the L-G that the Delhi government recently added 232 ICU beds in GTB Hospital and 200 in Lok Nayak, and that he is personally monitoring the progress on a round-the-clock basis, the official said.
The official said DDMA was supposed to discuss strategies for vaccine distribution but that did not happen on Wednesday. Last week, in an interview to HT, Kejriwal had said calls on vaccine distribution would be taken by the central government and the state government’s role would come only after that.