Covid-19 Containment Zones Rise to 421 in Delhi after Re-mapping, Cases Cross 83,000

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The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen to 421 after re-mapping of such areas, an increase of 141 in the last two days, as the cases rose to over 83,000 on Sunday.

Noting that the number of recoveries was more that the number of new cases, Delhi government said that the situation will improve in coming weeks and it will not be as "bleak" as it appeared in early June when there was a rapid surge in infections.

Around 2.45 lakh people have been screened till Saturday night in an ongoing mammoth exercise to check the spread of COVID-19 in the national capital under a revised strategy, officials said.

Authorities said that the city has reported 2,889 fresh cases in the last 24 hours while 3,306 people have recovered from the dreaded virus during the same period.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus mounted to 2,623 with 65 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours. Recently, Delhi had surpassed Mumbai as the worst-hit city in the country.

Meanwhile, a 52-year-old doctor of Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital died of COVID-19 in the ICU of a private dedicated coronavirus facility on Sunday. The doctor, a consultant anaesthesiologist, passed away this morning.

LNJP Hospital is a dedicated COVID-19 facility under the Delhi government. "He lost the battle today after a valiant fight," a hospital official said, adding that the doctor was undergoing treatment at Max Smart in Saket.

Several hundreds of healthcare workers have been infected by COVID-19 till date in Delhi.

According to officials, the count of containment zones in the city is expected to jump further as the authorities in some districts were yet to complete the task of redrawing such areas following the Centre''s directions.

Before the re-mapping exercise, the number of containment zones was 280 on June 25 in the city, an official said, adding that the number has jumped to 421. The re-mapping exercise started on June 26.

The official said that southwest Delhi district has reported a rise of 37 zones since the re-mapping exercise has started, taking the total number of such areas to 80.

The North Delhi district has 59 containment zones, followed by south district (56), central district (40), Shahdara district (38), East district (33) Southeast (32), northwest (28), West (25), New Delhi (21) and Northeast (9).

Taking about screening of people in the city, official told PTI, "Till Saturday night, We have screened around two lakh people for COVID-19 in house-to-house survey being conducted across the city. Also, 45,000 people have been screened in COVID-19 containment zones.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia issued a statement, saying that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought help and support of every agency to battle the coronavirus in Delhi.

In the first week of June, there was a sudden spike in corona cases, Sisodia said, adding that there was a shortage of beds and testing.

"The chief minister believes that battle against coronavirus is very big and no individual person or agency can deal with it alone. In this spirit, CM has brought everyone together and his efforts seem to be paying off," Sisodia said in the statement.

He said that last week saw things stabilising as recovery rate has increased to 62 per cent, adding, "Today more patients are recovering in Delhi than those who are falling ill, number of deaths are coming down, positivity rate is decreasing rapidly."

"We are hopeful that situation will improve in the coming weeks and will certainly not be as bleak as it looked in first week of June when domain experts predicted 5.5 lakh cases in Delhi by July 31," the deputy chief minister added.

The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University of Delhi government will lead a project to develop a low-cost completely indigenous test for SARS COV2 antibody testing, which can be used for large scale screening of population.

According to the university, the translational project of Rs 98 lakh was submitted to BIRAC-DBT by Dr Gaurav Pandey of University School of Biotechnology (USBT) and has been recently selected for funding in response to a research consortium call on COVID - 19.

The number of deaths at the Lok Nayak Hospital, the largest Covid-19 dedicated hospital here, has decreased by around 50 percent in the last two weeks, officials said on Sunday.

"The number of deaths in the hospital has decreased from 100 in the week from June 6 to June 12 to 51 in the week between June 20 to June 26," an official said.

The reduction is due to the improvement in facilities, streamlining of processes at LNJP and the significant increase in the number of beds and ICUs in other hospitals in Delhi, he said.

Of the 5,777 corona patients admitted to LNJP since March 17, when the government declared it a COVIS-19 dedicated hospital, 4,169 patients have recovered fully, he said.

The number of ICU beds in LNJP has been increased from 64 to 100. This also helped saving lives because patients with extreme comorbidities are transferred to ICUs as soon as their condition worsens, the official said.