Delhi Healing But Road to Recovery is Long

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Delhi on Monday reported 319 more Covid-19 fatalities and 12,651 new infections, the lowest in four weeks, even as the positivity rate slid to 19.10 per cent.

At 19.10 per cent, the city’s Covid-19 positivity rate is at its lowest since April 16, according to a health bulletin issued by the Delhi government. The positivity rate in Delhi has remained above the 20 per cent mark since April 17.

For the first time in days, recoveries surpassed fresh infections as 13,306 people were discharged.

Although the numbers look promising especially as the national capital has been desperately battling the second wave of coronavirus amid an acute shortage of vaccines and oxygen, the slump is being attributed to fewer tests conducted on Sunday (66,234).

Battle not even half won

Earlier in the day, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said Delhi has only one day’s Covaxin stock left and its Covishield doses will last for just three to four days. The minister’s remarks came as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to direct manufacturers to increase vaccine supplies to the capital between May and July. At a press conference in the evening, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia accused the Centre of ‘interfering with the vaccine orders with the manufacturers’.

“We had placed an order for over 1cr vaccines from the manufacturers…but the Centre ordered that Delhi will get only 3.5lakh doses for the month of May,” he alleged.

“Covaxin doses can last up to one day only, while Covishield doses can last up to three to four days,” Jain told reporters after reviewing preparations at Guru Teg Bahadur COVID Care Centre at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in central Delhi. Delhi has so far received 5.5 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines for the 18-44 category, and over 43 lakh doses for 45-plus, and healthcare and frontline workers, according to government data released on Sunday.

Around 39 lakh doses have been administered in the national capital so far. Till Sunday evening, Delhi had 4.65 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines available for those above 45, and healthcare and frontline workers, while 2.74 lakh doses were available for the 18-44 age category. The health minister said the dip in the positivity rate and the number of new infections over the last fortnight is a “glimmer of hope”.

“The number of cases has reduced from around 28,000 to 13,000 now. The positivity rate has come down from a high of 36 per cent to around 20 per cent,” Jain said. He, however, said there’s no room for any leniency and urged everyone to keep their guard up. Jain said the 400-bed Guru Teg Bahadur COVID Care Centre has been attached with the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has provided the infrastructure for the facility and the Delhi government has given medical support, he said. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of the DSGMC, said the COVID care centre will be managed by 50 doctors from LNJP Hospital. They will be supported by a team of 150 nurses and ward boys.

All beds have oxygen concentrators. The facility has a backup of 150 D-type cylinders. It has all the essential drugs, including Remdesivir and Fabiflu, used in the treatment of COVID-19, Sirsa said. “Patients who need up to 20 litres per minute of oxygen can be treated here,” he said, adding that the treatment and food will be completely free.

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