For fourth day, Delhi reports over 1,000 Covid-19 cases
For the fourth day in a row on Sunday, Delhi reported over 1,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), with 1,295 infections taking the city’s total tally to 19,844. The city is likely to cross the 20,000 cases mark on Monday -- just 14 days after it crossed the 10,000 mark.
Delhi also added 57 deaths due to Covid-19 to its cumulative toll on Sunday, taking the number of deaths due to the contagious disease in the city to 473.
The Delhi government has attributed the higher number of cases May 28 onwards to the number of Covid-19 samples being processed per day. On an average, 6,129 samples were tested each day during the week ending on May 31, according to the Delhi government report. In comparison, an average of 4,869 samples were being tested each day the previous week.
However, the positivity rate — the percentage of people who test positive among those tested — has also gone up by four percentage points in the same time. The average positivity rate in the week ending May 31 rose to 14.7% from 10.8% the week before.
“It is common sense that a higher number of cases will be recorded when more people are tested. This along with an increase in the positivity rate — although positivity rate will change depending on who is tested — shows that there is ongoing transmission. And, if you look at global data, India is still on the rising trend,” said Dr GC Khilnani, former head of the department of pulmonology at AIIMS.
Of the 10,893 active cases, 23.7% have been hospitalised. The 2,586 people admitted to hospitals with severe symptoms such as respiratory distress -- those with a respiratory rate higher than 30 (normal is 12 to 20 breaths per minute), or oxygen saturation lower than 90% (normal is 95 to 100%) -- have taken up 39% of the total current bed capacity in Delhi.
Just over 1% of active cases need to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and 0.2% are on ventilators, as per the Delhi government’s data.
“With easing of lockdown norms and more people moving about, the number of cases are bound to go up further. The lockdown could never have prevented the spread of the infection completely, but it gave the government time to prepare for a surge in cases. Now, the surge is here and the government should be equipped to deal with the cases. We need to now focus on keeping the mortality down which means providing good care to all. If the hospitals start running to capacity, the mortality will go up,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital.