Covid spike in Delhi highest in a month, but hospitalisations largely flat

Covid spike in Delhi highest in a month, but hospitalisations largely flat

Delhi recorded 795 new Covid-19 cases, with 4.11% of the samples tested turning positive, according to state data on Saturday, the highest these numbers have been in nearly a month, prompting officials to mount a closer monitoring of the situation.

The rise comes when the number of new cases have grown in several parts of the country – particularly Maharashtra and Kerala – and there is a widening gap in the number of people eligible for their second and booster jabs and those that have actually taken it.

“Based on the numbers in the coming days, we will issue directions on bed augmentation and also for other measures,” said a senior health official, who asked not to be named.

Experts and doctors said the trends do not yet point to a concern, and the rate of hospital admission appears to be low.

Of 9,587 beds reserved for Covid patients, only 94 (0.98%) were occupied as on Saturday.
Of 9,587 beds reserved for Covid patients, only 94 (0.98%) were occupied as on Saturday.

Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, the largest Covid hospital in the city, said there are 11 Covid patients admitted at the facility and the condition of only one of those is “slightly critical”.

“The patient who is critical has a few pre-existing medical conditions. The other 10 patients are stable. The infection is generally mild this time too,” said Dr Kumar.

Such spikes, a second expert said, are to be expected but people need to maintain care.

“The increase in cases in Delhi is primarily because people have become lenient towards following all safety precautions, no one is wearing masks or adhering to proper hand hygiene…,” said Dr (Col) Vijay Dutta, senior consultant (internal medicine), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

Data analysed by HT shows that there is a third factor, which can be easily addressed: pending vaccine doses. According to Co-WIN dashboard numbers analysed by HT, at least 12% of those eligible for their second doses have delayed turning up, and at least 70.8% of those eligible have not taken their booster doses yet.

A booster dose is crucial for adequate protection, especially against severe illness. Vaccine efficacy largely wanes after six months, making boosters crucial. In reality, overdue second doses may in fact be a higher number than was evident by the Co-WIN dashboard, where the data is limited for such a calculation.

The number of cases on Saturday was the highest since May 13 and the positivity rate since May 10. On these days, the numbers were 899 and 4.38% respectively.

Of 9,587 beds reserved for Covid patients, only 94 (0.98%) were occupied as on Saturday.

(With inputs from Abhishek Jha)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR




    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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