Delhi logged a record 306 COVID-19 deaths and 26,169 cases with a positivity rate of 36.24 per cent, highest since the pandemic began a year ago, on Thursday even as the city hospitals grappled with depleting oxygen supply for the third consecutive day. The city has reported over 1,750 deaths due to the deadly virus in the last 10 days.
It had recorded 24,638 cases and 249 deaths on Wednesday, as the positivity rate stood at 31.28 per cent. On Tuesday, 28,395 cases, the highest single-day tally so far, were registered with a positivity rate of 32.82 per cent.
The capital had witnessed 23,686 cases with a positivity rate of 26.12 per cent on Monday. Authorities logged 249 deaths on Wednesday, 277 on Tuesday, 240 on Monday, 161 deaths on Sunday, 167 on Saturday, and 141 on Friday.
With the fresh cases, Delhi’s cumulative tally has risen to 9,56,348. The death toll stands at 13,193, according to the latest health bulletin. A total of 72,208 tests, including 48,346 RT-PCR tests, were conducted on Wednesday, the bulletin said. The number of tests is significantly less than the average of around 90,000 tests a day being conducted in the national capital.
So far, over 8.51 lakh patients have recovered in Delhi, it added. The number of active cases in the city increased to 91,618 from 85,364 on Wednesday, the bulletin stated. The number of people under home isolation increased to 46,585 from 42,768 on Wednesday, while that of containment zones mounted to 22,000 from 19,624 the day before, it said.
Senior medical experts had on Monday said the second wave of coronavirus in Delhi was likely to peak within a week after possibly hitting a positivity rate of 50 per cent before the numbers start to go down. On Thursday, several private hospitals in Delhi struggled to replenish oxygen supply for coronavirus patients for the third consecutive day, and requested the city government to transfer them out to other healthcare facilities.
While some of these hospitals have been able to make short-term arrangements, there is no immediate end to the crisis in sight, a government official said. In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said six private hospitals had exhausted their supply by Thursday evening.
He alleged the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police were blocking oxygen transport to Delhi, and urged the Centre to ensure normal supply even if that meant taking the help of paramilitary forces. Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister SatyendarJain said beds for COVID-19 patients will be increased in large numbers once the oxygen crisis in the city is resolved.
He also said an increase of around 800 ICU beds is likely in central government hospitals soon. There were only 15 ICU beds available for coronavirus patients in hospitals across Delhi at 10 pm, according to official data.