Plan gone haywire, Delhi may soon be ‘coronavirus capital’: HC
The Delhi high court on Thursday criticised the city government saying it has gone “completely haywire” over its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak and that Delhi was on its way to become the “corona capital of the country”, as the third wave of infections in the city continued to create alarm.
While new infections in the Capital have been rising at a steep rate, another worrying trend has emerged as deaths and hospitalisations have started rapidly climbing too. According to Thursday’s bulletin, 66 people lost their lives due to the viral infection — the highest single-day deaths in over four months. Delhi last recorded 66 deaths on June 27, at a time when treatment protocols for Covid-19 were still being assessed.
“Delhi government has gone completely haywire on the pandemic and is soon going to become the corona capital of the country thanks to the number of cases shooting up. Many claims were made by the Delhi government that they are topping charts in testing, but the number of cases has overshot. The government has many answers to give us,” a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said on Thursday.
Several indicators now reinforce the fact that Delhi is in the grip of its third and worst wave of infections yet. In the past week, there were 5,843 cases on average every day, the highest this number has been since the first case was recorded on March 2. Delhi now has 416,653 total infections and 6,769 deaths.
The high court’s comments came during a hearing on a group of pleas relating to the disbursal of salaries to the employees and former employees of the various civic bodies.
It said that the Delhi government has taken the health of citizens for a ride, a matter which would be dealt with separately on November 11 when the bench hears a plea by advocate Rakesh Malhotra, who had sought ramping up of tests in the city.
Most of the new cases of Covid-19 are being reported from six districts – North, Central, North East, East, North West and South East – where the positivity rate stands between 12% and 14%, said Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan after a review of the situation in Delhi.
“This time around, the cases are being reported from middle income neighbourhoods. These are people who stayed at home and remained in isolation during the lockdown,” said Dr Puneet Mishra, professor of community medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Delhi’s average seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 11.5%, as against the national average of 4.3%.
As on Thursday, there were over 38,000 people with active infections in the city. Of them, 7,231 patients were admitted to hospitals, the data shows. This is the highest hospitalisations at a given time the city has seen.
Intensive care unit beds are running full in city hospitals, especially those at private hospitals. Over 73.5% of all the ICU beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 in the city were occupied as on Thursday evening, according to the ‘Delhi Corona’ app.
CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the government is working on increasing oxygen and ICU beds, and has reached out to the Supreme Court to reserve ICU beds in private hospitals.