Fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi at 19.5k, toll posts new peak of 141, Health News, ET HealthWorld


NEW DELHI: Even as fresh cases in the city keep posting grim new records, deaths due to the infection have also shot up dramatically.

On Friday, the city reported 141 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, its highest single day toll. Earlier, on Wednesday and Thursday, Delhi had reported 104 and 112 fresh fatalities respectively. According to doctors, nearly 30-40% of the casualties could be avoided through timely medical intervention.

“It is not just the virus. Patients are also dying due to lack of timely treatment. I know many patients who could not find a bed and decided to isolate themselves at home. Their families arranged their own oxygen cylinder to maintain respiration and when the condition continued to deteriorate, rushed the patient to hospital, only to find the condition was unsalvageable,” said a senior doctor.

Delhi, which was reporting less than 1,000 fresh daily cases till the second week of March, on Friday notched up a new high of 19,486 cases. The number of active cases now stand at 61,005.

Keeping track of oxygen saturation can save your life

The positivity rate remained high at 19.7%, meaning that one in every five persons being tested is being found to be infected. “Delay in treatment is certainly one of the causes behind increased mortality. It could be because people are reaching hospital too late or they aren’t able to find a critical care bed in time,” Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consultant, internal medicine at Moolchand hospital, said.

Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, pulmonary medicine and critical care at Apollo hospital said hospitalisation is necessary if oxygen saturation reduces to less than 94%, or patient complaints about altered sensorium, confusion, headache and dizziness. “Chest pain could be a sign of cardiac involvement,” he said.

Delhi has 16,481 Covid beds. The Delhi government has created an app – the Delhi Corona App – where real time availability of vacant beds is maintained. At 10 pm on Friday, the app showed 170 ventilator beds and 259 ICU beds without a ventilator were available across the city.

“My mother suffers from a neurological disease and has tested positive for Covid-19. The nurse we had hired to look after her has left ever since she got to know about the infection. I have called all major hospitals in my area but they are refusing to admit her citing unavailability of beds,” said a resident of Civil Lines. Many government hospitals have vacant beds but demand is higher for the private facilities. People are also opting for home care being offered by private companies. “We are providing home care to around 40-50 patients presently. There is a shortage of oxygen cylinders. We had to airlift it from another city today,” Gaurav Thukral, chief operating officer of Health-Care at Home (HCH) said.

Lok Nayak hospital has only one ventilator bed available. Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty and Safdarjung hospital have no such beds. AIIMS Trauma Centre has only about six ventilator beds available while GTB Hospital has 93 beds available – which is the highest among government hospitals. Holy Family, Max Shalimar Bagh and Patparganj, Apollo, BLK and Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, among others, have no ventilator beds available.

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