Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will hold a meeting on Tuesday to assess whether there is community transmission of COVID-19 in the national capital. Addressing an online media briefing, Sisodia said if community transmission of the virus was taking place in Delhi, the AAP government would have to change its strategy accordingly to deal with the situation.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is the vice-chairman of the DDMA, has authorised his deputy, Sisodia, to attend this meeting on his behalf. Kejriwal has gone into self-quarantine after developing sore throat and fever.
"There will be an important meeting of the state disaster management authority on Tuesday. Experts will also attend it.
"If community transmission is ascertained at the meeting tomorrow, we will have to change our strategy accordingly," Sisodia said.
On Sunday, the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital reached around the 28,900-mark, with 1,282 fresh infections in a day while the death toll climbed to 812.
There are 17,125 active cases, while 10,999 people have so far recovered from COVID-19 in the national capital.
Delhi COVID-19 cases estimated to rise to 56K by end of next 2 weeks: Jain
The current doubling rate of COVID-19 here is 14 days so the national capital as per that estimation will see over 56,000 cases by the end of next two weeks, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Monday.
The number of coronavirus cases in the national capital crossed the 28,000-mark with 1,282 fresh infections, while the death toll climbed to 812 on Sunday.
"The expert committee, which was set up by us earlier, has said that the doubling rate is 14-15 days and currently the city has recorded 28,936 cases in total so by the end of two weeks, it is estimated to rise to 56,000," the minister told reporters.
Barring June 1, when Delhi saw a spike of 990 cases, it has been recording over 1,000 fresh cases every day from May 28 to June 7, the highest being 1,513 on June 3.
A total of 51 fatalities were reported on June 6, the Delhi health department bulletin said on Sunday, adding that deaths took place between May 8 and June 5/
Delhi will require almost 15,000 beds by the end of June since the number of coronavirus cases is likely to touch the 1-lakh mark by then, according to a report submitted by an expert committee to the Delhi government.
The five-member panel, headed by Indraprastha University Vice-Chancellor Mahesh Verma, was constituted by the AAP government and submitted its report on Saturday.
"This was only to emphasise the urgent need for increasing beds. We have to be prepared for the surge in cases. We have almost 9,500 beds currently. Cases are doubling up every two weeks. We have forecast that we need more than 15,000 beds by the end of June and more beds in July," said a member of the panel, requesting anonymity.
Nearly 20-25 per cent cases need hospitalisation and 5 per cent need ventilators or admission to ICU, he explained.
In the report, the panel has also recommended that more private and government hospitals need to be converted into COVID hospitals to tackle the surge in cases, which are likely to touch the 1-lakh mark by the end of this month.
"Some nursing homes can be converted into COVID facilities. Some clubs, stadiums can be made as makeshift hospitals not just by keeping beds but also there should be oxygen concentrators," said the panel member.
The panel has suggested that the health infrastructure of the city should be used only for treating Delhiites in view of the raging COVID-19 crisis.
Based on the suggestions of the panel, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had announced on Sunday that the hospitals run by the Delhi government and private entities will only treat Delhiites during the coronavirus crisis.
However, sources said, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday overruled the AAP government decision.
Asked about the Delhi government's decision to reserve beds only for residents of the city, Jain said, "Delhi and Mumbai are big metros which are facing a heavy brunt of the virus."
"A lot of foreigners come here, and had flights been closed earlier, the infection would not have spread that much. But given the situation now, when for the past several days, over 1000 cases are being reported every day, the situation is that Delhi people would need more space in hospitals," he said.
Jain claimed that cases weren't much in neighbouring cities.
On the order issued to private hospitals on schedule of charges and if any price capping policy is being planned, he said, "We are going to first examine the schedule of charges that we have asked from hospitals."
In an order issued to all private hospitals identified for the purpose of treating COVID-19 patients, the Delhi government has asked them to provide their schedule of charges for treatment of the virus to the Directorate General of Health services, Delhi and the same is also to be displayed at conspicuous places in their hospitals.
On the order to depute a senior nursing officer in private hospitals, the Delhi health minister said this was done as there were complaints coming that people were being denied admission or beds not being made available.
He also said, on the Delhi Corona App, nearly half of the 8,500 beds are showing as vacant. But we will need 15,000-17,000 beds in 14-15 days as cases will rise.
"While beds at some private hospitals may be exhausted, no complaint has come about any shortage of beds at our hospitals like LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital," he claimed.
From June 8, the Delhi inter-state border has been opened and malls, restaurants and worship places allowed to resume functioning in adherence to all COVID-19 safety norms.