As COVID-19 cases spike in Delhi, recovery rate descends; tally cross 26K, death toll reaches 708

New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) With 1,330 fresh instances, the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 26,000 while the death toll reached 708, authorities said on Friday even as the recovery rate in the last 11 days dipped to 39.16 per cent.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data, Delhi also has the highest number of active cases -- 14,456 cases -- in the country after Maharashtra (41,402).

With regard to the death toll, Delhi stands third (650) after Maharashtra (2,710) and Gujarat (1,155).

According to the health bulletin, 22 fresh deaths were reported and the total number of coronavirus cases stands at 26,334.

Barring June 1, when it saw a spike of 990 cases, Delhi has been recording over 1,000 fresh cases every day from May 28-June 5, the highest being 1,513 on June 3.

As many as 10,315 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far, the bulletin said.

This pegs the recovery rate as reported on June 5 at 39.16 per cent.

Prior to that, the rate varied from 48.18 per cent on May 25 to 40.35 per cent on June 3, according to the figures shared by the Delhi health department. On June 4, it slipped to 39.58 per cent.

However, from May 20 (46.82 pc) to May 25 (48.18 pc), the recovery rate was gradually increasing, after which it successively declined per day, as per the data.

On May 26, the rate fell marginally to 48.07 per cent, with a total of 14,465 cases being recorded that day.

The May 26 bulletin said there were 6,954 patients who had recovered, been discharged or migrated, while there were 7,223 active cases. The death toll on that day stood at 288.

A total of 44 fatalities were reported on June 3, which took place between May 3 and June 3, the Thursday bulletin said.

Seventeen deaths took place on June 2, it said. Nearly 1,300 fresh cases were reported on that day.

The number of daily fresh cases recorded from May 28-31 stood at 1,024; 1,106; 1,163; and 1,295 respectively.

In a joint virtual press conference with Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday urged people who were infected with the virus but asymptomatic, to remain at home and isolate themselves.

The government has been maintaining that the recovery rate of patients who are home quarantined has been in the range of 80-90 per cent.

Amid reports of a shortage of beds, Jain on Friday said there is “absolutely no shortage of beds” in Delhi at the moment.

In the last 3 days, more than 1,000 patients have been admitted to hospitals in Delhi, he said. “If beds were not available, this would have not been possible. Even now we have close to 5000 vacant beds,” Jain said in a statement.

The issue is that some hospitals are not updating the data on Delhi Corona app on time or misrepresenting actual data when patients call, Jain said. Launched earlier this week, the app is meant to provide information on availability of beds and ventilators.

“Patients were not getting data on hospitals before, which the Delhi corona app is trying to fix. We are making hospital bed data live and real-time soon,” Jain added.

Among the fresh cases, a 44-year-old staff member posted at the control room of the Delhi Fire Service tested positive after which the office was sanitised, officials said.

Officials also said that 16 inmates of Rohini jail and 12 staff members of the Delhi Prison department have tested positive for the virus so far. Of them, 13 have recovered.

Meanwhile, with relaxations in lockdown norms, the Jamia Millia Islamia reopened its offices with 50 per cent staff reporting on a rotation basis, but employees above 60 years are working from home.

The university issued a formal order on reopening on Thursday even though its offices were back in operation from June 1, when the Unlock-1 kicked in.

To effectively deal with the spread of COVID-19, the West Delhi administration has set up a dedicated call centre and constituted several teams as part of a new strategy.

According to the plan, the staff deployed at the control room will make at least one call to each COVID-19 patient for counselling and to know about his or her well-being for the initial five days from the date the patient is found positive.

In a circular, Additional District Magistrate (West) Dharmendra Kumar said the call centre will also attend to people's queries related to the COVID-19 situation.

He said action should be taken within six hours through field-level teams.

The government has received more than 7.5 lakh suggestions through WhatsApp, e-mail and calls on opening Delhi borders, a statement said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will discuss the suggestions with experts on Saturday and take concrete decisions, it added.

Delhi sealed its borders this week to contain the spread of the virus.

On World Environment Day, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the Delhi government will run a campaign to promote the use of medicinal and herbal plants in the next one year.

The medicinal and herbal plants will be given free at the forest department's nurseries in the city. These include curry leaves, gooseberry, neem, bahera, jamun, guava, arjun, sahjan, wood apple and lemon, the minister said.

'These plants help boost immunity which is crucial in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Anyone can get them for free from the forest department's nurseries. Pamphlets listing the benefits of the plants will also be given to the people,' the minister told PTI. PTI KND BUN AMP GVS PR RDM ABH ABH ABH