Pulse oximeters, plasma bank to ramped-up testing: How Delhi fights back Covid-19

Delhi might be one of the worst coronavirus-hit regions in the country but the number of Covid-19 patients recovering in the national capital far exceed the rate of fresh infections or ‘active cases’. Delhi has faired well this month as compared to June concerning the coronavirus situation.

By July 15, Delhi was expected to witness 2.25 lakh coronavirus cases but only 1.15 lakh cases have been reported till date. It was estimated that 34 thousand beds would be needed across hospitals but around 10 thousand beds are currently unoccupied across various hospitals in Delhi. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said this is the result of collective efforts by all, adding that while the infection seems to be under control, the administration’s preparedness is necessary.

Coronavirus cases were rapidly increasing in Delhi in the first week of June. At that time, around 5,500 tests were being done daily in the national capital which has now been increased to more than 21 thousand.

Increased number of beds

In the first week of June, there were only 700 corona beds in eight private hospitals. Today, Delhi has 15,000 beds, out of which more than 10 thousand beds are unoccupied. The administration also launched a mobile application through which patients can easily monitor the availability of beds at various hospitals.

Pulse oximeters – the protective shied

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the national capital has been able to “minimise deaths” of Covid-19 patients in home isolation with the help of pulse oximeters. The chief minister described it as a protective shield or “suraksha kavach”. “If patients detect their oxygen is falling, they reach out to us for help. We immediately send oxygen concentrators to their home or take them to a hospital,” Kejriwal had tweeted.

Response time of ambulance

The response time of an ambulance was previously two hours which has now come down to 30 minutes. A war room was created for ambulance management wherein over 400 ambulances were dedicated for Covid-19 patients.

Plasma banks

The government introduced plasma therapy for serious Covid-19 patients. A total of 84 patients were provided the therapy, of which 80 were cured. The first plasma bank was set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday inaugurated the national capital’s second plasma bank for Covid-19 patients at government-run Lok Nayak Hospital.

According to government data, the administration’s home isolation model has also helped a great deal in the speedy recovery of patients with mild symptoms or those who are asymptomatic. Delhi has reported over 1.1 lakh coronavirus cases till date of which over 95 thousand patients have beaten the virus. Delhi’s active cases stand over 17,000 while more than 3,000 people have succumbed to death.