The Delhi government has slashed the rates of RT-PCR tests in the capital. Private labs and hospitals have been ordered to charge ₹ 300 for the test, which was ₹ 500 earlier. The home collection rate has been reduced to ₹ 500 from ₹ 700. Rapid antigen test will now cost ₹ 100, down from ₹ 300.
The number of infections in the national capital has seen a marked decline over the last few days, except for yesterday when the capital saw a spike. On Tuesday, the city registered 11,684 cases, on Monday, it was 12,587 cases, on Sunday it was 18,286, on Saturday the figure was 20,718 while on Friday it was 24,383.
According to government data, the number of active cases in the city stands at 68,730. Of these, 53,593 patients are in home isolation and 2,539 are admitted to hospitals.
However, according to official data, the number of children requiring hospitalization due to Covid-19 is on the rise in the city. While only a fraction of children affected by the infection needs hospital admission, doctors say it is still important for parents to watch out for the warning signs.
According to Dr. Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, 27 children were admitted to the state-run hospital for Covid treatment in the past three weeks. Of them, 13 are still in hospital while the rest have been discharged. “Three children are on oxygen/ventilator support. They suffer from comorbidities, including birth defects,” the hospital director said.
Lok Nayak has also conducted over 31 successful deliveries involving Covid-positive mothers since December. During the first and the second wave, 306 and 78 successful normal deliveries, respectively, were carried out at the hospital. Some of the newborns tested positive for Covid, but they didn’t have severe symptoms, doctors said.
Dinesh Vashist, vice-president (operations), Rainbow Hospitals, a private chain specialising in childcare, reiterated the rise in the number of children needing hospitalisation in Delhi-NCR. “The children are getting admitted because of poor oral intake and lethargy. They are also getting admitted because of associated comorbidities,” he revealed.
At present, seven children are being treated in the hospital’s Covid ward. Covid symptoms in children include high-grade fever, vomiting, poor oral intake, and watery stool. Most of these subside with symptomatic management at home itself, said Dr. Gaurav Thukral, COO, Healthcare, which carries out triage and home isolating monitoring of Covid patients for the Delhi government.
Thukral said that of all patients in home isolation in Delhi, around 5% were under 18 years old and the hospital admission rate in this age group was less than 1% of all positive cases.