Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the outbreak of the coronavirus was under control in the national Capital amid a rise in cases, the Hindustan Times reported. Kejriwal’s remarks came a week after his government partially lifted the lockdown and eased restrictions in the city from May 18.
“A week later, I can say that the situation is under control and there is nothing to panic,” Kejriwal said. He added that it would have been worrying if the toll was higher or most Covid-19 positive cases were severe in nature.
The chief minister noted that of the 13,000 cases, nearly half of them have recovered and the rest are undergoing treatment. He said in the past week, Delhi reported over 3,500 new coronavirus and nearly 1,500 patients recovered.
Delhi health ministry’s Monday afternoon bulletin showed that the total number of coronavirus cases is now at 14,053. The toll in the Capital is 276. However, the Union health ministry has confirmed 13,418 cases and 261 deaths in the Capital in its morning update.
Kejriwal added that of the 4,000 hospital beds available with the government, over 1,500 are occupied and the rest are empty. Of the 677 beds at private hospitals, 509 are occupied by coronavirus patients. He added that 117 private hospitals across the Capital have been asked to keep 20% of their beds reserved for coronavirus patients. “This will lead to the availability of 2,000 more beds for Covid-19 patients,” he added.
Most of the new cases being reported were either showing mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, he said. “Patients with mild symptoms or the asymptomatic ones are [being] treated at home and are not admitted in hospitals,” Kejriwal said. “There are 3,414 such Covid-19 patients who are getting treated at home.”
The chief minister said that this resulted in easing of the burden on hospitals. “As many as 1,750 Covid-19 patients were admitted in hospitals on May 17,” Kejriwal said. “The figure has risen to 2,000 at present. Only 250 new patients have occupied beds across various hospitals in one week.”
Kejriwal highlighted the healthcare infrastructure in the Capital and said that hospitals under his administration have 3,829 beds for coronavirus patients. Of these, 3,164 have oxygen availability that is crucial for severe Covid-19 patients.
Kejriwal also warned private hospitals and said that coronavirus patients “can’t be turned away”, NDTV reported. “Two days back, I got to know that a private hospital had turned away a patient who tested positive for coronavirus. No hospital can do this,” Kejriwal said. “We have sent them a show-cause notice. If a patient tests positive in a hospital, it’s the hospital’s responsibility to arrange an ambulance and a bed for him,” he added.
The nationwide lockdown that was first imposed on March 25 to control the spread of the novel coronavirus has been extended for the third time till May 31. However, several states had eased their lockdown restrictions in the fourth phase that began on May 18.
In the fourth phase of the lockdown, buses, taxis and cabs in Delhi have been allowed to run with a restricted number of passengers. Buses can operate with 20 passengers and autorickshaws, e-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws can operate with only one passenger. Markets have also been opened on an odd-even basis and restaurants can open only for home deliveries or takeaways.
Meanwhile, cinemas, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, schools and colleges among other things continue to remain closed.