New Delhi, Sep 10 (PTI) The national capital reported 4,308 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day spike so far, as a record 58,340 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.
Taking note of the rising COVID-19 cases, the Delhi government has directed authorities to increase the number of ICU beds in the city's hospitals.
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had decided to ramp up testing facilities in the national capital.
This is the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic that over 4,300 cases were recorded in the national capital in a day.
According to government's health bulletin, the tally of cases touched 2,05,482 while the death toll rose to 4,666 with 28 fresh fatalities.
The positivity rate in the last 24 hours stands at 7.38 per cent. The number of containment zones stands at 1,272, it said.
Thursday's tally crossed Wednesday's spike of 4,039 cases when COVID-19 tally in the city breached the two lakh-mark.
Interacting with reporters, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed authorities to increase the number of ICU beds in hospitals and take steps to contain the spread of the infection.
Jain said plasma therapy will continue to be used in Delhi as it is proving to be effective in people who are in stage one or two of COVID-19 treatment, but not in stage three or those on ventilators.
He told this to mediapersons when asked to respond about an Indian Council of Medical Research-funded study which has found that use of convalescent plasma therapy in coronavirus-infected patients does not help in reducing mortality or progression to severe COVID-19 stage.
'Delhi recorded highest spike in cases so far. But, it is also because we have gone aggressive on testing, with over 54,000 tests, highest ever in Delhi. And, we had set a target of 40,000 tests per day. So, we do not want to to leave any infected person in tracing,' Jain told reporters earlier in the day.
Our target is to ensure 'zero mortality' and treatment protocols have been standardised, he also said.
Amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, private hospitals in Delhi are also witnessing an increase in admissions, with no ICU beds with ventilators available in many of the top private facilities.
An analysis of the data using Delhi government's 'corona app' shows that till 5.30 pm on Thursday, of the 1,212 ICU beds with ventilators available in private hospitals, 687 are occupied while out of 976 ICU beds without ventilators, 642 are occupied.
Data shows that in private hospitals like Max Smart in Saket, Batra Hospital, Holy Family, Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, Indraprastha Apollo, Fortis Vasant Kunj, B L Kapur, Fortis, Shalimar Bagh, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, there are no ICU beds with ventilators available.
Out of the total 14,205 beds available -- both in the private and government hospitals -- 5,896 are occupied, according to the app, indicating an occupancy rate of 41.5 per cent.
On July 30, the occupancy of beds reserved for coronavirus patients was 18 per cent, with only 2,958 out of 16,038 beds being occupied. It was 23.02 per cent on August 10 and 23.40 per cent on August 11.
It increased to 28.04 per cent on August 29, with 3,966 out of 14,143 beds occupied, according to Delhi government's health bulletin.
Experts attribute the increase in new cases to the increased public movement after easing of lockdown restrictions, non-residents coming to Delhi for treatment and return of migrants from other states.
Chander Prakash, president of the Delhi Voluntary Hospital Forum, said almost 30 per cent of the beds are occupied by patients from outside Delhi.
'Patients from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are coming to the national capital for treatment due to subsidised rates here which has led to increase in occupancy of ICU beds,' he said.
With the city witnessing surging cases, the number of containment zones in Delhi has gone up to over 1,200, with the maximum 234 in southwest Delhi and the lowest 29 in northeast Delhi, according to government data.
There are 1,272 containment zones in Delhi as on Thursday.
Of the 11 districts in the city, six have more than 100 containment zones, southwest Delhi (234), west Delhi (169), north Delhi (148), south Delhi (145), central Delhi (120), and east Delhi (104).
Northeast Delhi has just 29 containment zones, the lowest in the city, followed by southeast Delhi (73), Shahdara (74), northwest Delhi (82) and New Delhi (94).
The number of containment zones rose by 50 per cent in the last nine days from 846 on September 1 to 1,272 on Wednesday.
According to district officials, the number of containment zones might rise with the increase in the number of coronavirus tests being conducted and the consequent climb in the number of infections. PTI SLB KND GVS BUN RHL