Delhi could record 20,000 Covid-19 cases by June 1
Delhi reported over 1,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for the third day in a row. On Saturday, 1,163 cases were recorded, taking the total number of cases in the city to 18,549, according to the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government. The number of recoveries stands at 8,075
At the current pace, the city is likely to cross the 20,000-mark by Monday.
With the sharp increase in the number of cases over the last three days, the number of active Covid-19 cases – those still undergoing treatment for he infection – has gone over 10,000 for the first time. It was 10,058 on Saturday. Over half of these patients are in home isolation.
However, 2,395 patients with severe symptoms such as respiratory distress and oxygen saturation below 90% have been admitted to the designated Covid-19 hospitals in the city. Of them, 212 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 34 are on ventilator.
This means, 2.1% of all the active cases in Delhi need ICU care and 0.3% need ventilation. This is lower than the national average of 2.5% people who need admission in ICU and 0.48% who need ventilation.
To prepare for the increase in the number of cases, the Delhi government, over the last two days, earmarked 1,900 beds in three of its hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Of these, 200 in Satyawadi Raja Harish Chandra Hospital, 200 in Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital, and 500 in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital were set aside on Friday for Covid patients. Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital was asked to convert the entire facility with 1,500 beds into a Covid-19 hospital on Saturday.
This is in addition to the 2,500 beds at Lok Nayak Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Superspeciality Hospital.
“We have arranged 2,100 more beds (for Covid-19 patients) in the last one week. Today, we have 6,600 beds of which 2,100 are occupied. We will have 9,500 beds for Cvoid-19 patients by June 5,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.
Another 18 deaths due to the viral infection were added to the cumulative total, taking the city’s toll to 416. The toll saw a sharp increase on Friday, with 82 deaths being recorded in one go. Of these, 13 deaths took place in the preceding 24-hours, with the other 69 being recorded over 32 days, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.
Delhi’s current case fatality rate is 2.2%, which is lower than the national average of 2.8%. The case fatality rate has increased from around 1% on May 11, after the several of the previous deaths were added to Delhi’s health bulletin after verification.
“The number of cases will go up further, reaching a peak probably in June and lingering on till September. Almost half the people in the country will be infected, including those asymptomatic, before the infection dies down due to herd immunity,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital.
On Saturday afternoon, a technician from Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi’s largest Covid hospital, succumbed to the infection. He was on the ventilator for around a week. “He was to retire next month,” a doctor from the hospital said on condition of anonymity.
Another health worker, from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), died with the infection last week. Dr JN Pande, 78, former head of the department of medicine at AIIMS, also died because of the infection .
The director of Lok Nayak Hospital, Dr Suresh Kumar, who also led the Covid-19 plasma therapy study conducted at the hospital, tested positive for the infection and is in home isolation. Two staff members from his office have also tested positive for Covid-19. At least, 50 health care workers from the hospital have tested positive so far.
Dr AK Jain, principal of the University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, which was recently designated a Covid-19 hospital, has also tested positive for the infection. Dr Rajeev Sood, dean, Atal Bihari Vajpayee institute of Medical Sciences and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, also tested positive and was admitted to Max Smart hospital in Saket.
So far, 247 health workers have tested positive for the infection at AIIMS.