NEW DELHI: The capital is likely to have 550,000 coronavirus cases by the end of July based on the current doubling rate of infection, Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday, predicting a surge in demand for hospital beds to 80,000.

“Till June 15, there will be 44,000 Covid-19 cases and we would need 6,600 beds. We would hit one lakh cases and would require 15,000 beds by June 30. Till July 15, the cases would reach 2.5 lakh and we would require 33,000 beds and till July 31, there will be 5.5 lakh cases and we would need 80,000 beds,” Sisodia said after a meeting of the state disaster management authority chaired by Delhi lieutenant general Anil Baijal. The Delhi government’s bid to restrict admissions to state-run and private hospitals in the capital for residents had been revoked by Baijal on Monday.

Delhi has 8,575 dedicated Covid-19 beds, out of which 4,413 are occupied, according to the Delhi government, which said 4,162 are vacant. It’s not clear whether this includes the 20% beds that the Delhi government had asked private hospitals and clinics to set aside for coronavirus patients.

‘Baijal Refused to Reconsider Decision’

Out of a total 512 ventilators that are available, 248 were in use on June 8, according to state data.

The meeting on Tuesday was attended by Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, Indian Council of Medical Research director general Balram Bhargava and Union health ministry officials among others. Covid-19 cases are doubling every 12-13 days in Delhi, the deputy chief minister said.

Half of all beds in Delhi were generally occupied by those who came for treatment from outside the state, he said.

“Now we see that there might be a situation that 80,000 beds would be needed by the end of July, that too only for residents of Delhi, not outsiders,” Sisodia said. “So where will this come from?”

The national capital is among the worst affected in the country with nearly 30,000 Covid-19 cases till date and the death toll at 874.

Sisodia said Baijal refused to reconsider his move to scrap the Delhi government order reserving hospitals for the city’s residents.

Of the new cases being reported in the city, the source of infection of about half of them are not known.

Sisodia and Jain wouldn’t be drawn on the question of community transmission in Delhi.

“On community spread in Delhi, central government officials said it has not happened yet,” Sisodia said.

“Epidemiologically, community transmission is the third stage of the infection,” said Jain. “In Delhi, of the new cases being reported, in nearly half of these cases, the source of infection is not known.”

Amid record daily spikes in Covid-19 cases, the central government on Tuesday decided to deploy teams in the 50 worst-affected municipalities across thee country that are contributing more than half of the national numbers of infected cases, including Delhi.

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