Delhi records 100-plus Covid deaths for third consecutive day

New Delhi: The Capital recorded 6,746 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, as the city continued to combat a third wave of the disease, even as authorities continued to augment Delhi’s health infrastructure to ensure it was able to keep up with rising hospitalisations.

In a grim statistic, the city saw over 100 deaths of the disease for the third day in a row, with 121 fatalities on Sunday — the second-highest single day toll so far. On Saturday, the state government’s daily health bulletin had recorded 111 deaths of the infection, and 118 on Friday.

November 18 saw 131 deaths of the infection — the highest so far in a day.

Meanwhile, the proportion of RT-PCR tests, considered the gold standard to diagnose Covid-19, continued to remain high in the city’s total-test count. Of the 54,893 tests conducted on Sunday, 42% were of the RT-PCR variety, while the remainder were done using the rapid antigen method.

The Capital’s positivity rate, the percentage of tests that return positive, was 12.29% on Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO), recommends that the positivity rate from a region that has a comprehensive testing programme should be at or below 5% for at least two weeks before it can be considered that the outbreak is under control in the region. In case the positivity rate rises, WHO recommends increasing testing numbers for prolonged periods of time till the number drops below 5%.

Meanwhile, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday said 400 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients were added to the city’s hospitals in the last three days — as part of a strategy aimed at augmenting Covid-19 ICU beds by 1,650.

“Total Covid-19 beds were increased to 17,252 till yesterday (Saturday). We are further increasing beds across hospitals. Around 7,700 beds are currently vacant. In the last 3 days, 400 ICU beds have been increased in Delhi’s hospitals. ICU beds will be further increased in the next 2-3 weeks. Under the augmentation plan private hospitals will have 250 more ICU beds, Delhi government hospitals will have 650 more and 750 are supposed to be added in central government hospitals,” said Jain in a press briefing.

A majority of hospital beds, especially intensive care unit (ICU) ones, continue to be occupied.

By Sunday evening, hospitals across Delhi — both private and public ones — had 17,423 total Covid-19 beds, of which 7,967 were vacant. The government records further showed that there are 4,086 ICU beds, of which 734 are vacant.

Jain had earlier said the government’s order directing around 90 private hospitals in the city to increase beds reserved for Covid-19 patients from 50% to 60% has added another 2,644 beds.

The increased Covid-19 deaths in Delhi have added to the burden of crematoriums. Jain said, “The municipal agencies have assured us that there will be no hassles in cremating Covid-19 patients.”

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