Only 50 people will be allowed at weddings in Delhi, out of a limit of 200, according to an order from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) that has accepted the first of two suggestions from Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government to restore some inhibits in an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus disease.
Delhi has been catching a third and still more deadly wave of Covid-19 infections, with the latest data showing that 131 more people died due to the disease – the highest number of casualties in a 24-hour period .
According to the Delhi government health bulletin, there were 7,486 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to over 500,000. The case load has already extended to Delhi’s slim hospitals, with the availability of ICU beds and ventilators at risk of congestion.
The narrower border of weddings follows a request sent from Kejriwal on Tuesday to Union government authorities, from whom he has also sought permission to close market places if they appear to be turning into hot spots of infection. The request was sent to the Union Interior Ministry through Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal. Process-aware officials said they would receive a response from central authorities.
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“Indoors, a maximum of 50% of the capacity of the hall will be allowed, with a ceiling of 50 people … In open spaces, keeping the size of the land / space in view, subject to a ceiling of 50 people said the message, a copy of which HT has seen.
Kejriwal said the move should not be seen as a deadlock as such.
“For the next few days, we will be monitoring the situation on the ground, particularly the breach of Covid-19 rules, and assessing whether any particular market could turn into a hotspot. It is not that we are closing markets. Saving the economy “It is as important to us as fighting Covid-19. We will try all means. We will not close any market unless it is absolutely necessary,” he said.
The situation has been described as alarming by officials and experts. “The situation is as bad as it was a week ago; almost every hour I get a call to make a bed. Although more beds have been added, there is still a shortage and I do not see any sign of the situation improving any time soon. Maybe 10-12 days later we can see a drop in numbers but not now, ”said Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, respiratory and critical care medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.
The CM has convened a meeting of all parties on Thursday to discuss the situation.
It was October 31 when Delhi, in line with recommendations from the Union government, raised the ceiling for wedding guests to 200. Just over a week later, the city added 8,593 cases – the highest it has recorded so far.
As new cases poured in, the Capital Hospital’s vacant beds – particularly intensive care units (ICUs) and ventilator beds – were reduced. On November 15, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with senior officials from both administrations and decided to increase infrastructure and double the testing rate.
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According to officials aware of the preparations, orders are likely to be issued to set out a roadmap for how the tests will increase from the current 60,000 to around 100,000-120,000. An essential challenge would be to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests required by laboratories.
“Currently, the city does about 57,000 tests a day, of which nearly 20,000 are done using the RT-PCR method. Delhi has a capacity of 27,000 tests. This existing capacity will be used, “Niti Aayog (health) member (health) said on Tuesday. “Also, laboratories under the ICMR and the Ministry of Health will be used to add 10,000 tests. “Another 1,000 will be added by scientific institutions in the city,” Paul added.
On Wednesday, the Delhi government issued new orders to hospitals under its control to increase the number of ICU beds. Kejriwal said this would add about 663 beds to these institutions and, together with 750 carried by the Union government, would increase the number of such beds in the Capital by about 1,400.
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“This will be achieved from day to tomorrow. [Delhi] The Minister of Health has met with the authorities in other hospitals. We will increase 663 ICU beds in the coming days in Delhi government hospitals including GTB Nagar hospital. The center has provided us with 750 extra beds in the DRDO facility, I am grateful for them. So about 1,400 beds will be ready, “he said as he visited GTB Hospital.
He reiterated his assurance that while there is an increase in cases, there are plenty of hospital beds available. But, he added, “there is a shortage of ICU beds and we are looking into it.”
According to figures tracked by the government and updated daily, of the 3,600 odd ICUs and ventilation beds, less than 450 remain available.
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