The government is gradually allowing businesses to reopen, other activities to resume under the unlock period.
The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital has led to a 35 per cent increase in the demand for beds in hospitals in the city, according to government data. On July 30, the occupancy of beds reserved for coronavirus patients was 18 per cent, with only 2,958 out of 16,038 beds being occupied. It was 23.02 per cent on August 10 and 23.40 per cent on August 11.
It increased to 28 per cent on Saturday, with 4,004 out of 14,135 beds occupied, according to data shared by the hospitals on Delhi Corona app. Out of 1,229 COVID ICU beds with ventilator support, 473 (38 percent) were occupied. The occupancy was 33 per cent on July 30.
Delhi has recorded an increase in the number of new cases over the last few days, which experts attribute to the easing of lockdown curbs, complacency among people and return of migrants workers from neighboring states.
The number of new cases hovered around 1,000 in the beginning of August 1,118 on August 1 and 961 on August 2.
The number rose to 1,450 on August 23 and 1,840 on Thursday, the highest single-day spike in 49 days.
“Delhi has been witnessing a slight increase in the number of new cases because of various factors. People (migrants) are returning. Then there are people from other states who have come to the city for treatment,” Dr Desh Deepak, the nodal officer for COVID-19 at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, said.
The government is gradually allowing businesses to reopen, other activities to resume under unlock period, he said.
Dr B L Sherwal, the managing director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility, said the number of new cases is bound to increase with the easing of restrictions.
“The occupancy of beds in the hospital had reduced to around 50 in the beginning of August. Now, it has again risen to more than 100,” he said. “Our hospital is close to Uttar Pradesh. So, a number of people are coming in from there too,” he added. Dr K K Agarwal, the head of Heart Care Foundation of India, with the government ramping up testing, more patients will be detected in the national capital and therefore, the demand for beds will also increase.
Earlier this week, the Delhi government decided to double the number of Covid-19 tests — from around 20,000 at present to 40,000 per day — following a spike in the new cases in the capital. Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday said the government will increase the working hours of its dispensaries and clinics by two hours so that more Covid-19 tests can be carried out.