There is no community transmission of Coronavirus in Delhi as of now and therefore the issue need not be discussed, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia quoted officers of the Central government as saying at the meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) on Tuesday.
Sisodia, state Health Minister Satyendar Jain and central government officers had gathered at the residence of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal the SDMA meeting to discuss the Coronavirus situation and assess whether community spread has occurred in the national capital.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not present at the meeting as he is in self-quarantine after developing fever and displaying symptoms of cough and sore throat since Sunday afternoon.
Addressing reporters after the meeting, Manish Sisodia said 5.5 lakh cases are expected in Delhi by July 31 based on the current doubling rate.
He said COVID-19 cases are doubling every 12-13 days in Delhi.
“By 15 June, there will be 44,000 cases and 6,600 beds will be needed. By 30 June, we will reach 1 lakh cases and 15,000 beds will be required. By 15 July, there will be 2.25 lakh cases and 33,000 beds will be needed. By 31 July, 5.5 lakh cases are expected and 80,000 beds will be needed,” Sisodia elaborated.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, health minister Satyendar Jain had said that “we can say that there is community spread only when the Centre admits it”.
“Community spread is when there are cases in which source (of infection) cannot be ascertained… Almost half of our cases are like this,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Jain further said the Delhi government earlier expected that the beds in private hospitals would cater to patients up to 15 days but found that most of the beds reserved for COVID-19 patients have been used in 4-5 days. He added that bed-capacity needs to be enhanced further.
On Monday, while announcing the meeting, Sisodia had said, “Corona cases are on the increase in Delhi. SDMA will meet to discuss the status of coronavirus infection in the Capital. If corona has reached the level of community dispersal in Delhi, then what will be the strategy to fight it? Some experts with all data have been called for the meeting tomorrow.”
In a major setback for the Aam Aadmi Party government, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had on Monday overruled two controversial orders of the Arvind Kejriwal government on reserving Delhi government-run and private hospitals in the national capital for Delhiites and allowing COVID-19 test for only symptomatic patients.
A panel, appointed by the Delhi government to guide it on healthcare infrastructure augmentation and overall preparedness of hospitals to battle COVID-19 in the national capital, has stated that Delhi will need 15,000 beds by the end of June.
Acting on the report, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday informed that for now Delhi hospitals will be available only for the residents of the city. At the same time, he clarified that hospitals run by the Centre will have no such restriction, and if people from other states come to the national capital for specific surgeries, they can get medical treatment at private hospitals.
He also said private hospitals, except those where surgeries like neurosurgery, are performed would also be kept reserved for the residents.
Delhi has seen a spurt in Coronavirus cases and over 1,000 new cases daily for the past few days. There are currently 29,943 cases and 874 people have died of the deadly infection.