Though Unlock 1.0 might be underway, Delhi's COVID-19 count is soaring. The numbers of new COVID-19 positive patients in Delhi on June 9 was 1,366, and on June 10, it added 1,501 more COVID-19 cases. The total count of the state on June 10 was 32,810 confirmed cases, with 12,245 recoveries, and 984 deaths.
Speaking to Databaaz, Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Centre for Chest Surgery and Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, has criticised the Delhi government's decision to lift the lockdown even before the state could see a drop in the numbers.
"I think we raised the lockdown at the time when cases were rising. Lockdown was lifted and an impression was given to people that everything was hunky-dory," said Dr Arvind Kumar.
According to Dr Kumar, the lockdown was never meant to eradicate the infection, it was meant to break the chain of transmission. It needed to continue for a little bit longer, when the case count has hit its peak, and there's a downward trend.
"The number of cases is increasing right now because people feel the crisis period is over. I think the increased person to person interaction is what is leading to an increase in the number of cases. Every infected case has the potential to infect 2.7 more cases. And when you have more cases, they increase by geometric progression," said Dr Kumar.
On June 10, Arvind Kejriwal estimated that Delhi will need 33,000 beds by July 15, and including those from outside the city, it will require 65,000 beds. By July 31, 80,000 beds are projected to be needed for the people of Delhi, and the count shoots up to 1,50,000 beds to accommodate out of state people.
Dr Kumar elaborated on how the state can handle the heavy cases load. "Emphasis has to be made on breaking the chain of transmission by minimizing person to person contact, he said.
Other measures taken for infrastructure management include adding more beds in government hospitals and private hospitals. Hotels are being attached to each of the hospitals. Patients with mild cases will be looked after in the hotels, while patients with moderate and severe cases will be looked after in hospitals.
"In order to convert a hospital room into a room for a COVID-19 patient, the air conditioning system needs to be retrofitted," said Dr Kumar.
Usually, a hospital has a positive pressure isolation room, which lets air leave the room without circulating back in so that any airborne particle that originates in the room to be filtered out. This keeps immunocompromised patients from getting infected. For COVID-19 patients, a positive pressure room needs to be converted to a negative pressure room, which traps and keeps potential harmful particles within the room. This is important since COVID-19 patients are the source of infection.
Dr Arvind Kumar also explained what peaking meant and how its important in the progression of COVID-19, "Peaking is when 60-70% of the people develop herd immunity because they've already been infected and they're immune to acquiring more infection. The number of cases improving starts going up, the number of new infections starts decreasing, and the new infection from them also go down."
"Our expectation is that we will have a good number of people developing asymptomatic infection without any problems, develop an immunity, and thereby become immune to fresh infection. That is when we will peak and our numbers will start decreasing. A ministry official has estimated that in this way, Corona will end in our country by mid-September," said Dr Kumar.
Catch the full interview on YouTube, or click on the link here.