Capital logs over 800 deaths in last fortnight; CM seeks detailed report

New Delhi: Delhi has reported over 800 COVID-19 deaths in the last two weeks, of which 397 are suspected to have succumbed to the contagious disease in the first week of July; following which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought a detailed report from the health secretary here with an analysis of the factors behind these deaths, officials in the said on Wednesday.

The detailed analytical report on COVID-related deaths in Delhi will aid the implementation of more stringent measures to reduce deaths. It will also help mitigate the other causes that have added to the casualties, such as co-morbidities, age and health condition, which will help to establish the cause of death, according to a statement from the Delhi government.

A total of 3,165 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Delhi so far, which have been marked as fatalities caused due to the virus after careful and meticulous considerations made by the Deaths Audit Committee. However, the death rate in Delhi has been declining sharply since the middle of June, according to official data.

The government will take further steps after obtaining a detailed analysis of the COVID-19 deaths from the health secretary to ensure zero fatalities due to the virus, it said. The health secretary has assured that he will soon prepare and submit a detailed analysis of the deaths related to COVID-19 so that the government can execute further measures to reduce the death rate, the statement said.

On July 4, the COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,004 in Delhi, it said, adding that steps like increasing the number of ICU beds, installation of more oxygen beds, plasma bank among others, provision of pulse oximeters to home isolation patients have reduced the death rate and the positivity ratio.

At the peak of the outbreak, Delhi saw 120 deaths in a single day in the first week of June. However, the number of deaths on July 7 had gone down to 50, the Delhi government said in its statement. The first COVID-19 fatality was reported in the national capital on March 14 and within a month, the death toll zoomed to 1,000. The next 1,000 deaths were reported in eight days and the toll stood at 2,035 on June 19.

The Delhi government has also set up the country's first plasma bank and is encouraging patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate. It has decided to obtain feedback from patients on their willingness to donate blood plasma at the time of discharge from hospitals.

In plasma therapy, the antibody-rich plasma from a recovered patient is extracted and administered to another patient. Trials are trying to find out if the antibodies can help such patients recover from the disease.

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