Health Minister Satyendar Jain Sunday said over 400 ICU beds have been added for Coronavirus patients in Delhi, which is witnessing a third wave of coronavirus infection, over the past few days. He said the number will be increased further in the coming days as these 400 beds are part of a total of 1,650 ICU beds being set up in the city –250 in private hospitals, 650 in Delhi government facilities and 750 in those run by the Centre. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently issued directions in this regard.
A government official said 29 ICU beds were added on Tuesday, 100 on Wednesday, 76 on Thursday and 206 on Saturday, the official said. The AAP government had on Thursday directed private hospitals to increase the percentage of non-ICU COVID-19 beds from 50 to 60. It had also ordered 42 private hospitals to reserve with immediate effect 80 percent of their ICU beds for coronavirus patients. As the number of deaths due to COVID-19 mounts in the national capital, reports of burial sites running out of space have also emerged. Jain said he spoke with municipal corporation officials in this regard. "They have assured that adequate measures are being taken and there will be no problem in conducting the last rites of those dying due to COVID-19," he said.
Delhi, which has been reeling under the third wave of the coronavirus outbreak, has reported a death rate of 1.58 percent as compared to the national fatality rate of 1.48 percent. In the month of November alone, the national capital has recorded 1,759 fatalities till November 21 — around 83 deaths per day. The number of deaths breached the 100-mark four times in the last 10 days.
Authorities reported 111 fatalities on Saturday, 118 on Friday, 131 deaths on Wednesday, the highest till date, and 104 on November 12. Jain had recently acknowledged that the death rate in Delhi was slightly higher than the national average but said that situation at present was much better than June when the fatality rate had soared to 3.5 percent.
While the mortality rate in July was 3.12%, it had fallen to 2.54% by the end of August. Jain had said the city was witnessing its third wave of coronavirus but the gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate is a "clear indicator" that the spread of the virus is decreasing here.
Authorities reported a positivity rate of 12.9 percent on Saturday, 10.59 percent on Friday, 12.09 percent on Thursday, 12.03 percent on Wednesday, 13.04 percent on Tuesday and 12.73 percent on Monday. The positivity rate was 15 per cent on November 7, the highest this month.