Delhi Police personnel on guard at Jama Masjid with people advised to offer prayers at home on Eid-ul-Fitr during lockdown against coronavirus, in New Delhi, India.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Delhi Police personnel on guard at Jama Masjid with people advised to offer prayers at home on Eid-ul-Fitr during lockdown against coronavirus, in New Delhi, India.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Delhi sees 412 new Covid-19 cases, daily tally dips under 500 after one week

New cases in the national capital were under 500 after one week, with the highest number of 660 recorded on May 22.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anonna Dutt
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2020 07:05 PM IST

Delhi reported 412 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, taking the city’s total tally to 14,465, according to the daily health bulletin from the Delhi government.

New cases in the national capital were under 500 after one week, with the highest number of 660 recorded on May 22.

On Tuesday, 12 more deaths were added to the total, taking the toll due to the viral infection in the city to 288. These are the deaths that get added to the total after a review by a three-member death audit committee to establish whether the primary cause of death was Covid-19.

The positivity rate – the percentage of people testing positive among those tested – has gone up to 10% from 7.6% on May 18, when Delhi recorded 299 cases, which was one of the lowest daily numbers reported this month.

The average positivity rate over the past week has been 11.5%, with the highest of 13.8% recorded on Monday.

Delhi has already reached the second of three scenarios that a five-member expert committee had advised the chief minister to prepare for. The first scenario was when the city recorded 100 cases a day and the third scenario is the city recording 1,000 cases a day.

“Delhi is likely to start reporting 1,000 cases a day within the next two weeks or even sooner,” a senior official of the Delhi government said on condition of anonymity.

With the easing of lockdown norms and travel resuming, experts agree.

“The numbers are likely to go up now that markets have opened up and people are travelling. However, the numbers also depend on testing criteria – if more people are tested, the numbers would be higher. So, it is not the number of cases that we should be worried about, it is the number of deaths. We have to ensure early detection and treatment to prevent deaths,” said Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital.

If the current trends remain, around 30% of these cases or 300 people would need admission to hospital each day. The Delhi government is in the process of scaling up its Covid-19 infrastructure by adding another 1,500 beds with oxygen at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

All of the 2,000 beds in Lok Nayak Hospital, the biggest healthcare facility dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients, also have facility to provide oxygen.

Only about 0.4% people need ventilator support, according to Delhi government data, which closely mimics the national average.

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