'Increased Testing, Higher Recovery Rate': Delhi’s Covid-19 Figures Reveal a Silver Lining

In yet another record spike, India recorded its biggest surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in one day with 19,906 new patients, taking the total to 5,28,859, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. Delhi, with 80,188 cases and 2,558 deaths, is the second worst-affected state after Maharashtra in terms of the number of infections and deaths.

But amid this grim situation, there appears to some silver lining for the national capital. According to data released by the Delhi government, in the first week of June, only 2,521 Covid-19 patients recovered, but last week alone 17,190 patients have recovered. The recovery rate is now at 55%.

On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal acknowledged that owing to a scarcity of beds in hospitals for COVID-19 patients in the first week of June, the death toll due to the disease started climbing in the national capital, but assured that there is no such deficiency as of now.

Last week, the total number of free beds increased by 2,913 and 51% of beds remain unoccupied in Delhi right now. As the Delhi government adds more beds with each passing week, bed occupancy is continuing to fall. In what may provide some additional respite, since the first week of June, the number of new patients being admitted to hospitals has also dropped by half.

With fewer patients requiring hospitalisation, the average number of daily new bed occupancy fell from 215 and 171 in the first two weeks of June to 105 between June 15-21. The number of weekly Covid-related deaths in Delhi has also seen a reduction.

Further, the number of tests conducted has increased consistently over time with a 51% increase this week compared to the previous week.

In his Saturday briefing, CM Kejriwal said that scaling up the number of beds, testing and isolation, providing pulse oximetres and oxygen concentrators to the patients, plasma therapy, screening and survey are the "five weapons" being used by Delhi government in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.