Delayed Delhi data for Monday records 34 deaths, 1,366 new infections

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New Delhi: Delhi recorded 34 deaths due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on June 8, taking the cumulative total to 905, even as the city’s health bulletin for Tuesday was inexplicably delayed by 36 hours and released early on Wednesday.

The city also recorded 1,366 new infections, with the total number of cases crossing 31,000 on June 9, according to the latest daily health bulletin from the Delhi government. Delhi’s fatality rate is currently 2.8%.

Delhi government officials didn’t comment on the delay in issuing the bulletin, which happened at a time when the number of cases and deaths in the region have spiked and Covid-19 patients are struggling to get beds in specially designated hospitals.

Late on Tuesday night, Congress leader Ajay Maken tweeted: “.@ArvindKejriwal ji, good that your test report has come out negative. My sincerest wishes for your speedy recovery! But just a small query - Is the 9th June Health Bulletin for coming on 10th. Because just 4 minutes to go. We are still waiting! @CMODelhi”

The number of tests in the city picked up on Tuesday, with seven laboratories across Delhi, which had previously been barred from testing, resuming work. The reports of 5,464 people were received on Tuesday, in comparison to 3,700 tests a day earlier, according to the bulletin.

This is almost comparable to the average of 5,590 tests a day done during the week ending on June 7. The data showed one in four people tested in Delhi turn out to be positive for Covid-19.

There are 18,543 active cases or those currently living with the infection, and a little more than 25% are admitted to the city’s hospitals.

The Delhi government had further restricted testing to exclude asymptomatic people, who aren’t old or didn’t have known co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension or cancer. The norms were relaxed after the region’s lieutenant governor overturned the order on Monday, when the positivity rate was 27%.

The number of cases in Delhi are set to shoot up further.

On Tuesday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said: “We presented the data of our prediction where we observed that by June 15, there’ll be 44,000 Covid-19 cases and 6,600 beds will be required. By June 30, we’ll reach one lakh cases and 15,000 beds will be required.

“By July 15, there’ll be 2.25 lakh cases and 33,000 beds will be required. By July 31, 5.5 lakh cases are expected and 80,000 beds will be required.”

Experts said the numbers are likely to be in lakhs but this is no reason to worry.

Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said, “The disease is such that a lot of people are likely to get infected. Even if we assume a low number of 10% of the population, it still means 20 lakh people will get infected in Delhi, which has a population of two crore.

“However, most of the infections will be mild. Our focus now has to be on not creating panic about it and ensuring people who need treatment, get it. We have beds, we have everything, but there is no coordination and guidelines are changing every day. People are dying because of lacunae of the system. What we need right now is effective management of the healthcare system.”

Kishore said there is a need for a dialogue with the community and involving people in tiding over the crisis.

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