Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday the national capital was doing much better than all other metro cities in India and was on the 17th position in terms of COVID-19 deaths per million population.
Delhi recorded over 6,700 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the infection tally in the city to over 4.16 lakh, while 66 more fatalities, the highest in around four months, took the death toll to 6,769, authorities said.
A total of 6,715 new cases were confirmed in the national capital following 52,294 tests conducted on Wednesday, while the positivity rate stood at12.84 per cent amid the festive season and rising pollution, the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health department showed.
This is the third consecutive day when the number of daily cases has crossed the 6,000-mark. Delhi reported6,842 cases on Wednesday, the maximum till date, and 6,725 cases on Tuesday. The city had recorded over 5,000 daily cases for five days on the trot ending Sunday, when the count stood at 5,664.
"Delhi is on the 17th position in COVID-19 death per million population. Far behind all metro cities," Jain posted on Twitter. "From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi government has worked around the clock to keep a check on the fatality rate," a government statement said.
The Delhi government has also stringently implemented the lockdown rules in the city and with time, aggressively increased the testing capacity in the capital, it said. While comparing with other metro cities of India, it should be noted that Delhi was at the 17th position in terms of COVID-19 deaths per million population with 338 fatalities, whereas Mumbai tops the list with around 831 deaths, followed by Chennai (518), Kolkata (503) and Bangalore Urban (408), the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Thursday decided to augment the bed capacity in its hospitals and deploy mobile testing vans in markets and crowded places across the city in view of the recent spike in the infection. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to review the preparedness along with a need for advanced planning to deal with the spread of coronavirus.
"In the meeting, it was also decided to augment the bed capacity in the Delhi government hospitals. The medical infrastructure will be ramped up with an increase in the oxygen and ICU beds in the Delhi government hospitals for COVID-19 patients," the government said in a statement.
The statement said the AAP government has also decided to increase targeted testing at crowded places such as markets and added that mobile testing vans will be deployed in such areas. The testing can be availed free of cost by the people at these places, it said. With regard to reserving beds in private hospitals, the chief minister said the Delhi High Court has stayed the AAP government's order to increase ICU beds in private hospitals.
The Delhi government has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, to lift the stay on the reservation of beds in private hospitals, keeping in view the critical coronavirus situation. The high court on September 22 had stayed the Delhi government's September 13 decision, saying asking 33 big private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients would violate the fundamental rights of those having other health conditions.
In the statement issued on Thursday, the chief minister, during the meeting, said all steps should be taken to maintain a lower fatality rate in the national capital. At present, Delhi is at the 17th position in terms of the deaths per million population due to coronavirus despite a decrease in the number of virus cases, far behind all metropolitan cities in the country.