Delhi has over reported 40,000 COVID-19 cases so far
Delhi reported 2,224 new coronavirus cases and 56 deaths in the past 24 hours, government data revealed on Sunday night, taking the total number of cases in the city to 41,182 and deaths to 1,327. This is the highest single-day spike in numbers and is also the third consecutive 24-hour period in which over 2,000 new cases have been detected.
The data also showed that 878 patients were discharged after receiving treatment; so far, 15,823 people have been declared cured after contracting the infectious virus.
The total number of active COVID-19 cases in the national capital is 24,032.
On Saturday Delhi reported 2,134 cases and 57 deaths, with 2,137 cases detected the preceding day.
The national capital is the third most-affected state, after Maharashtra (1.05 lakh cases, 3,830 deaths) and Tamil Nadu (42,687 cases, 397 deaths). All three states have reported worrying surges in COVID-19 infection rates in recent days, with record numbers of new cases reported nearly every day.
On Sunday morning Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan met with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others, to review the coronavirus situation in the city.
The meeting came days after the Supreme Court lashed out at the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, saying: "COVID-19 patients are treated worse than animals" and that the state's handling of the crisis was "horrendous, horrific and pathetic".
After the meeting, Mr Shah said Delhi would be given 500 railway coaches to address the shortage of beds for coronavirus patients. The Home Minister said this would immediately increase the number of beds by 8,000.
"The centre will also supply the necessary resources, including random test kits, oxygen cylinders, ventilators and pulse oximeters to fight this epidemic," Mr Shah tweeted.
In another tweet, Mr Shah said COVID-19 tests in Delhi will be doubled in the next two days and tripled after six days. This was after the top court said testing rates had slowed, whereas it had increased in Tamil Nadu's Chennai and Mumbai in Maharasdhtra.
HM Shri @AmitShah chairs meeting to review COVID-19 situation in Delhi.
• Modi govt to immediately provide 500 converted rail coaches to the Delhi govt, adding 8,000 beds for COVID-19 patients.
• Testing to double in 2 days and treble in 6 days.https://t.co/RGfqWfykqTpic.twitter.com/ODwbDHSFHC— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) June 14, 2020
Last week Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had warned that, given the current doubling rate of the virus, the city could face 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July. This would mean having around 80,000 hospital beds, which are not available, he said.
The Delhi government has said it will add 20,000 beds over the coming week by converting hotels and banquet halls into temporary medical centres.
The government had also proposed restricting admission at state-run hospitals to residents of Delhi - the proposal was slapped down by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who said treatment "should not be denied to any patient on grounds of being a non-resident".
The spike in COVID-19 numbers in Delhi, Mumbai (where hospital ICUs are running at 99 per cent capacity) and other parts of India comes as the country navigates "Unlock1", the first phase of significant lockdown relaxations that included the re-opening of religious places, hotels and restaurants, and shopping malls, subject to approval by state and district authorities, from June 8.
The country, as a whole, reported 11,929 new cases over the preceding 24 hours, Health Ministry data said Sunday morning.
India is the fourth worst-affected country in the world, with 3.21 lakh cases and 9,195 deaths; only the United States, Brazil and Russia have fared worse in terms of confirmed cases.