Delhi will see 5.5 lakh cases by July 31, Centre says no community spread: Manish Sisodia

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: June 9, 2020 2:51:29 pm

A couple santise their hands while shopping at Sarojni Nagar Market in New Delhi. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

There is no community spread of Covid-19 in the national capital, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said quoting central government officials present at a crucial meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to assess the situation. Sisodia told reporters after the meeting that Delhi is expected to see 5.5 lakh Covid-19 cases by July 31.

“We expect around 44,000 cases in Delhi by June 15, 1 lakh cases by June 30, 2.5 lakh cases by July 15, and 5.5 lakh cases by July 31,” Sisodia said. Delhi would need 80,000 beds by July end, he added.

So far the capital has 29,943 confirmed cases and 874 deaths as on Tuesday morning. There are 17,712 active cases and 11,357 cases. Follow Coronavirus India LIVE Updates

Today’s meeting was also attended by DDMA chairman Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, who said that the source of infection is unknown in around 50 per cent Covid-19 cases in the national capital.

“Director AIIMS Randeep Guleria has said (there has been community transmission) but Centre has not yet confirmed it. We will raise the issue in the meeting of the DDMA. What is community spread? It is a situation where source of infection is not known. There are many cases where sources are not known. But we can say that officially only if the Centre admits.In epidemiology, community spread happens to be the third stage. There isn’t one such case where source is unknown. There are many cases, in fact in case of around half the cases source of infection is unknown,” Jain said.

Jain said a host of factors including the fact that “the Centre did not agree to our request to stop landing of flights in Delhi initially” contributed to the steep rise in cases in the city. “People from other states were also kept here,” he added.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is the vice-chairman of the DDMA, did not attend the meeting as he is self-isolating after developing fever and sore throat. He took a Covid-19 test today. “The CM is unwell. He has developed mild fever and a sore throat and has self-isolated himself. Since Sunday afternoon, he has not received any guest or official,” a party functionary had said.

Earlier, Lt Governor Baijal struck down two Delhi government orders — reserving hospital beds only for capital residents and restricting testing for only those who showed symptoms.

The L-G’s order against reserving beds for residents of Delhi drew a sharp reaction from the AAP government. Alleging that the BJP had forced the L-G’s hand, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the party would now have to take responsibility if there were deaths on account of coronavirus in Delhi. Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Baijal’s move would throw up challenges, but his government would strive to meet them.

On Sunday, Kejriwal announced that beds in Delhi’s private hospitals and in hospitals run by the state government will be reserved for residents of Delhi until the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. This policy will not apply to hospitals run by the central government, he said. It will, however, apply to all illness, not just covornavirus disease.

There are 38 health facilities, including AYUSH hospitals, under the Delhi government, with a combined bed capacity of around 11,000. As of Sunday, records showed, 2,915 of the total 4,176 beds in the four dedicated Covid-19 hospitals under the Delhi government were vacant.

Meanwhile, six private labs have been allowed to resume testing for Covid-19 after services were halted by the Delhi government for flouting ICMR’s testing guidelines. The development came on Monday when Delhi conducted 3,700 tests in a day, the lowest in the last three weeks. The cumulative number of tests done so far is 2,55,615. There are 42 ICMR approved laboratories in the city that can conduct RT-PCR test for Covid-19. Till Sunday, 36 of them were operational. Delhi is currently performing 12,658 tests per million population.

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