Delhi's COVID-19 tally on Sunday inched closer to the one lakh-mark, even as the city's fight against the virus got a boost with the inauguration of the 10,000-bed Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre, touted as one of the "largest" facilities in the world.
To effectively deal with the COVID-19 situation, the Delhi government has decided to set up a 'COVID War Room' to closely monitor the prevailing situation and suggest measures to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to authorities, the national capital recorded 2,505 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the tally to 99, 444, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 3,067.
Sixty-three new fatalities were reported on Sunday. However, 71,339 people have recovered from the virus so far.
On Sunday, the city witnessed two key developments in augmenting its healthcare infrastructure -- DRDO's newly-created temporary hospital with 1,000 beds, including 250 in the ICU, and the inauguration of the 10,000-bed Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre.
The Delhi government also instructed all health care facilities to carry out compulsory rapid antigen detection testing of patients with ILI symptoms, patients admitted with SARI and other high-risk individuals who visit their facilities.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal inaugurated the 10,000-bed facility on the Radha Soami Satsang Beas compound in south Delhi and said it will play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic.
On the first day, around 21 patients belonging to Delhi was admitted to the centre. An official said that the condition of all admitted patients is stable, adding that they are being looked after by ITBP doctors.
The centre is 1,700 feet long, 700 feet wide -- roughly the size of 20 football fields combined -- and have 200 enclosures with 50 beds each.
More than 1,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other central armed police forces, and another 1,000 paramedics, assistants and security staff have been deployed at the facility for its smooth operation.
Union Home Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday visited the newly created temporary hospital with 1,000 beds, including 250 in the ICU, for COVID-19 patients.
The facility has been constructed in just 12 days near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on a piece of land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
Shah said an Armed Forces Medical Services team will run the hospital while the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will maintain it.
The home minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fully committed to helping the people of Delhi in these challenging times and this COVID hospital, yet again, highlights that resolve.
On his part, Kejriwal in a statement said, "For now, there is no scarcity of hospital beds, we have over 15,000 beds out of which 5300 are occupied. There is a paucity of ICU beds. If there is any spike in COVID cases, these ICU beds are very critical for us."
"DRDO's 1,000-bed coronavirus hospital is ready. I thank the central government on behalf of Delhiites. It (hospital) has 250 ICU beds, which is very much needed in Delhi at the moment," Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi earlier.
Meanwhile, an order issued by the Delhi Health department directed all medical directors, medical superintendent and directors of all Delhi government-run hospitals to ensure that "rapid antigen detection testing" of all individuals/patients falling in the categories listed, who visit their hospital, is mandatorily done.
All individuals with influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms, all patients admitted with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) are to be mandatorily tested, it said.
"All asymptomatic patients admitted or seeking admission of following high - risk group -- Patients undergoing Chemotherapy, Immunosuppressed patient including HIV+, Patients with Malignant disease, Transplant Patients, Elderly patients ( > 65 years of age ) with co-morbidities and all asymptomatic patients undergoing aerosol generating interventions," the order said.
In another tweet, the chief minister, said that less and less people in Delhi are now requiring hospitalisation, more and more people are getting cured at home.
A former Congress MLA serving jail sentence in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case died due to COVID-19 at a hospital here, the second inmate of Mandoli prison to have succumbed to the infection, officials said on Sunday.
Mahender Yadav (70) was a former MLA from Palam constituency. He was lodged in Jail no. 14 of Mandoli prison, where he was undergoing a sentence of 10 years, and had been hospitalised on June 26, they said. .
A centenarian man from Delhi, who was four years old during the 1918 Spanish Flu, has survived COVID-19 and recovered faster than his son, in his 70s, at a dedicated coronavirus facility here, doctors said.
The 106-year-old patient was discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) recently after recovering, where his wife, son and another family member also recuperated after contracting the novel coronavirus infection, they said.
"Perhaps, he is the first reported case of COVID-19 in Delhi who also went through the dreaded Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 which like COVID-19 had also ravaged the world. And, he not only recovered from COVID-19, he recovered faster than his son, who is also very old," a senior doctor.
Spanish Flu was a pandemic which hit the world 102 years ago, and affected nearly one-third of the global population at that time.
Also, the first female plasma donor in Delhi on Sunday asked more women to donate their antibody rich plasma and contribute towards the fight against the pandemic.
Bhumika Kohli (20), a journalism student and a resident of Rohini, tested positive for coronavirus on May 30. Her brother Arpit Kohli was diagnosed on May 25.
The brother-sister duo donated their plasma at the country's first plasma bank at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences here on Saturday.
Kejriwal had inaugurated the facility on Thursday to ease access to plasma, being used as a trial to treat coronavirus patients.