Delhi has reported 66,526 fresh Covid-19 cases during Unlock 1.0, that is, over the 30 days of June. This is over 75 per cent of the total coronavirus cases that Delhi has reported till now. With 87,360 confirmed Covid-19 cases, Delhi is the worst-affected city in India, and one of the worst in the world.
On its own, Delhi has surpassed China’s total Covid-19 figure, which according to the WHO stands at 85,227 with 4,648 deaths. Delhi has reported a lower death rate with 2,742 people losing their battle to coronavirus.
This clearly shows that the coronavirus is still raging in Delhi. Despite this, a political feud between the BJP-led Centre and AAP-ruled National Capital Territory of Delhi continued to intensify with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia sparring over how to manage Covid-19 in Delhi.
In the latest instance, they contradicted each other on where Delhi will end up in terms of Covid-19 caseload at the end of July. In an interview to news agency ANI, Amit Shah criticised Sisodia for creating panic among people over Covid-19.
“Manish Sisodia said that by July 31 there will be 5.5 lakh persons infected with the virus. He said that there will be no place left, no beds left and the situation will be difficult. This created a lot of fear in the minds of people in Delhi. His estimate was based on figures,” Shah said.
He was referring to the statement made by Sisodia in mid-June, when he shared the projection made by a Delhi government committee. It was the time when Delhi and Centre sparred over reserving Delhi government hospitals for residents of the city only.
Shah also said, “I do not want to go into whether estimate was right or wrong. But a situation of fear arose and some people started mulling an exodus (from Delhi).
However, Sisodia on June 28 sounded more hopeful saying, “Situation will improve in the coming weeks and will certainly not be as bleak as it looked in first week of June when domain experts predicted 5.5 lakh cases in Delhi by July 31.”
So, where will Delhi be at July-end? Will there be really acute shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients?
On Sunday, both Shah and Sisodia apparently made correct observations that situation in Delhi would not be as bad. Sisodia in mid-June had said Covid-19 cases in Delhi would touch 1 lakh by June-end. Delhi had 85,161 confirmed coronavirus cases on June 30 — a difference of about 15,000 from the figure projected about 15 days ago.
Moreover, Delhi has had a good recovery rate at over 62 per cent. The city currently has around 29,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Delhi government has said facilities for around 30,000 new Covid-19 beds have been created in the wake of rising coronavirus numbers. Some reports claim that up to 70 per cent of total bed capacity of Delhi for Covid-19 patients has remained unoccupied.
Delhi reported its first coronavirus case on March 1. In the next 41 days, Delhi breached the 1,000-mark on May 11. But in another seven days, Delhi’s Covid-19 tally crossed 10,000-mark.
On June 1, Delhi had 20,834 cases. It was now that daily reporting of Covid-19 cases jumped from 1,000s to 2,000s. By June 15, Delhi had over 43,400 cases of Covid-19 – more than doubling in two weeks
In the last 10 days of June, Delhi saw another spike. On seven of these days, Delhi reported over 3,000 fresh cases. During June, Delhi overtook Mumbai to become the worst-affected Indian city.
However, after reaching a peak of 3,906 on June 23, daily cases have shown a declining pattern. In the last four days, reporting of fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi has remained under 3,000.
Additionally, three teams of medical experts have been constituted to conduct surprise inspections at various Covid hospitals in Delhi. This is to ensure that Covid-19 patients get proper and prompt medical care.
The Delhi government is setting up a first-of-its-kind ”plasma bank” for treatment of Covid-19. The bank is being set up at the Delhi government-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). As per protocol, doctors or hospitals treating Covid-19 patients will have to approach it for plasma if there is a requirement.
An apparent decline in daily caseload, improved recovery rate and efforts to ensure better medical care for Covid-19 patients in Delhi give hope that the worst-suspected figure of 5.5 lakh by July-end may not be arrived at all.