Delhi records highest-ever 348 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours
Delhi registered 348 fatalities linked to coronavirus on Friday, marking the highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began. The National Capital also recorded 24,331 new coronavirus cases. With a worrying positivity rate of 32%, Delhi has emerged as the worst-hit city. The caseload has ripped the healthcare infrastructure apart and hospitals are facing a shortage of beds and oxygen. Here are more details.
On Tuesday, Delhi had reported the highest single-day jump in cases so far, as 28,395 new infections were registered. That day, 277 people had died due to the contagious disease. A day earlier, 240 people passed away due to COVID-19. On Wednesday and Thursday, 249 and 306 deaths were registered respectively. On Sunday, 161 people had succumbed to the disease, and 167 on Saturday.
The last 23 days have been deadly for Delhi as the city lost 2,514 people to the disease — an average of 109 daily. In sharp contrast, the daily average of deaths in March was around four. Delhi has a record 92,000 active cases currently. A senior doctor at LNJP Hospital said there has been an explosion of coronavirus cases in the last three weeks.
Another doctor told TOI that Delhi needs to do more tests to ensure that those who are sick receive medical aid on time. "We have to do more tests to ensure timely medical intervention. But we are seeing the opposite happening," the doctor said, adding that several labs are not conducting tests. On Friday, 75,037 tests were conducted, the daily claimed.
Meanwhile, the availability of beds has also dipped drastically in Delhi. By 11 pm on Friday, the National Capital had merely five ventilator beds left. One was at the AIIMS Trauma Center and four at Preet Vihar's Metro Hospital. Amid the scarcity of beds, doctors have been underlining that only 15% of coronavirus patients need hospitalization and the rest can be treated at home.
"Many people are rushing to hospitals early when the condition is stable because they are not sure if they would be able to get proper and timely care once the situation deteriorates. This is also leading to overcrowding," said Delhi Medical Council's President Dr. Arun Gupta.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if Delhi would not get the life-saving gas as it doesn't have production plants. He also urged the PM to point him toward the person in Central government whom he should contact when a tanker bound for Delhi is stopped anywhere. The CM's remarks were broadcast live, which the Centre saw as a breach of protocol.