The Delhi High Court has criticised the Delhi government for relaxing norms on public gathering and transport at a time when coronavirus cases are on an expeditious rise. The High Court has asked the government to file a status report explaining the steps taken to control the rise of COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks.
Indian Council of Medical Research Director General recently said that Delhi is currently witnessing the third wave of coronavirus cases. Balram Bhargava said that a host of factors including pollution, cold weather, festivals, wedding season have led to gatherings resulting in a spike in COVID-19 cases. "A third spike has come now in Delhi after the first two spikes in June and September, which is showing more cases than before," he added.
Intensive care units in Delhi are filling fast. Government data shows that ICU occupancy is over 80 per cent and at least 50 per cent of regular beds reserved for COVID-19 patients are occupied. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has asked 14 private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent of their beds for COVID-19 patients. Some government hospitals have said that they have no beds left while some have said that they have only a few left.
Jain said on Wednesday, "We had already issued an order earlier to private hospitals for increasing ICU beds but Delhi HC stayed that. Hope we get a vacation tomorrow from Supreme Court on our plea against HC stay." He added that three times more tests are being done now as compared to the previous peak. "No doubt the third peak is here. Hope that cases decrease in the next couple of days. We have increased testing with 17,000 RT-PCR tests conducted yesterday."
A high-level committee led by NITI Aayog member VK Paul had recently said that Delhi must prepare for 15,000 daily cases in the coming days as respiratory illness would also take its toll in the winter days.