Delhi’s Covid-19 case tally crosses 10,000 mark
Delhi has now reported 10,054 Covid-19 cases and 160 deaths, with 12 deaths recorded in the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Monday.Updated: May 18, 2020 23:48 IST
With 299 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) being reported in Delhi on Monday, the state’s tally crossed the 10,000 mark within two-and-a-half months of the first case being detected on March 2.
Delhi has now reported 10,054 Covid-19 cases and 160 deaths, with 12 deaths recorded in the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Monday. This puts the mortality rate of Covid-19 in Delhi at 1.6%, which is roughly half the national average of 3.09%.
Even with the three-member death audit committee adding backlog of deaths to the cumulative total after reviewing hospital case sheets since May12, Delhi has the second lowest mortality among the five states with the highest number of Covid-19 cases – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Rajasthan. Only Tamil Nadu, with a mortality rate of 0.69%, has reported fewer deaths than Delhi.
Delhi has one of the highest testing rates in the country, with 7,147 tests per million population. The national testing rate for India is 1,671 tests per million population.
Around 45% of the people infected have already recovered from the viral infection, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday. So far, 4,485 people of the 10,054 infected have recovered from Covid-19 in Delhi. “In Delhi, there are 10,054 cases till date. This is large in number. However, a total of 4,485 persons have been cured/discharged, which is 45% of the total cases,” Kejriwal said during a press conference.
So far,100,311 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country and Delhi accounts for 10.02% of them. From housing the nation’s busiest airport to Southeast Delhi’s Nizamuddin area emerging as the biggest cluster of cases following a religious congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in March, there are several reasons for the high caseload in the city.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi handled about 180,000 passengers daily, on an average, pre-Covid lockdown,before commercial passenger flights were suspended.
Then in later March, Delhi discovered that 2300 people of the thousands who attended a week-long meeting of the Tablighi Jamaat at a hostel-like complex called the Markaz near the Nizamuddin Dargah remained there. When the authorities started the evacuation process on March 31, around 2,300 people were still there. Of them, 1,080 tested positive for the infection. Across the country at least 4,000 Covid-19 cases have been linked to the Delhi gathering.
This led to a spike in the number of cases in the first half of Apri.
The number of cases started shooting up again in May with over 400 cases being recorded on several days. Delhi breached the highest single-day spike in numbers four times in May -- 427 cases had been recorded on May 3, 428 on May 6, 448 on May 7, and 472 cases on May 21.
This corresponds with an increase in the number of tests conducted in the city and laboratories across the capital rushing to deliver Covid-19 test reports with 24 hours of collecting the samples, complying with Delhi government and high court orders.
Delhi has tested 139,727 samples since mid-January when the screening for the disease first began. From just one collection centre and no testing laboratory in the city in January, Delhi now has almost 60 sample collection centres and 28 laboratories that test the samples.
During the second spike of the cases in Delhi, district authorities pointed out that hospitals were becoming hotspots for the infection, with several health care workers, their family members, and patients visiting hospitals also testing positive. So far, over 500 healthcare workers across the city have tested positive for Covid-19. This includes 106 healthcare workers from Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital, around 90 from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and 75 from Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital.
“Many of the cases are coming from hospitals, BSF (Border Security Force), and CISF (Central Industrial Security Force). There have been many cases from the police department, and healthcare workers. Right now, most of the cases are coming from the existing containment zones, we will increase the containment zones as and when needed,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, in an interaction with journalists on Sunday.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital, said, “The number of infections is higher in places with busy airports, along highways that a lot of people travel on, and in commercial hubs because that is where the infections were first imported by those who had travelled from abroad. Now, the problem areas are the slum populations in the major cities like Delhi and Mumbai as there are many people living in close quarters leading to easy transmission.”
“I would have said that the number of cases (across India) would start coming down by June but the travel of migrant workers may take the infections to villages and small town now prolonging the infections for a little longer. However, the good thing is that viruses tend to kill fewer people after every mutation and our population is young so even if there are cases, the mortality will remain low,” said Dr Kishore.