At 109, Delhi records over 100 Covid-19 deaths for fifth consecutive day

Delhi registered over 100 Covid-19 deaths a day for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday, with the national capital recording 109 deaths, taking the toll to 8,621, as per the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government. Delhi also reported 6,224 new cases on Tuesday. On Monday, Delhi saw 4,454 cases and 121 deaths.

Even so, the Delhi government claimed that the city’s death rate was “the lowest among major cities”. “Delhi has the least fatality ratio among all major cities in India. Rapid addition of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and other medical facilities have helped us achieve this. We are doing our best to save each and every life,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain in a tweet.

The data attached in the tweet mentions that Delhi’s case fatality ratio (CFR) – proportion of deaths among those who test positive – stood at 1.6%, and comparing it to states with the highest CFR — Ahmedabad with 4.2%, Ludhiana with 4%, and Mumbai with 3.9%. As per the data shared by the minister, Delhi was 15th on a list of cities with the highest mortality.

Of the total number of deaths, 2,110 have been reported in November alone when Delhi saw its third surge in Covid-19 cases. So far, the highest number of deaths in a single day was 131, reported on November 18, and the highest number of cases in a day was 8,593, reported on November 11.

On Monday, Jain had said the number of deaths is likely to go down over the next two weeks, as well as the number of cases and claimed that the positivity rate was already going down. “Death rate usually follows the curve of the number of cases and it should start coming down in the next two weeks,” he had said in the press briefing.

On average, Delhi has reported 6,423 new cases a day during the last seven days, as compared to an average of 7,436 cases on average last week (if the number of cases on Diwali and the day after are not considered when fewer tests had been conducted.)

The average positivity rate has dropped from 13.5% last week to 11.7 this week, as per the data. Experts say that the spread of infection is under control when a positivity rate of 5% or less and is maintained at that for at least two weeks.

The number of hospitalisations has also started declining over the past two days. After reaching the peak of 9,522 patients being admitted to city hospitals on November 21, the number has reduced to 9,367 on Tuesday.

The Delhi government has been working on increasing intensive care unit beds in its hospitals as well as private ones. The government had ordered its hospitals to add 663 ICU beds last week. On Tuesday, the government said that it had ordered 1,200 BiPap or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure machines.

“We are in the process of increasing the number of ICU beds that are either equipped with a ventilator – which can also be used in Bipap mode – or with high flow nasal cannula. The Bipap machines will help us in doing so,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak hospital, Delhi’s biggest Covid treatment centre.

Dr BL Sherwal, medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital, said, “Not only will these Bipap machines help us in increasing the current bed strength of 663, but will also prepare us for the future. Because of low temperatures and high levels of pollution, the cases may go up again.”

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