COVID-19 cases are rising very rapidly every single day and "there is no slow down" in the spread of the pandemic in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Wednesday.
The minister, however, reiterated that lockdown was not a solution to the situation, and advised people to step out only if needed, avoid gatherings, wear masks and follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour to combat the disease.
"Yesterday, Delhi recorded 13,468 cases and we conducted about 1.2 lakh tests too. The numbers are rapidly rising and rising every day, and there is no slow down in the spread of infection. So, I will advise people to step out only if urgent and needed," he told reporters here.
Mr Jain said 70-80 patients are being admitted daily to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.
Around 80 people were admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital on Tuesday night, he said, adding that cases were growing very fast.
The minister said the number of beds has been increased in various hospitals, while adding that the city government has again requested the centre to scale up the number of beds in its hospitals.
Later, orders were issued on linking of banquet halls and hotels with hospitals to meet further requirement of beds, as and when needed, he said.
In a statement later in the day, Mr Jain said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was directly monitoring the situation of beds and facilities available for patients at Delhi government-run hospitals.
"Delhi government has ramped up the infrastructure available and is fully equipped to combat the virus. I appeal to you all to only opt for hospital admissions when in dire need," the health minister said.
The statement also said Mr Jain visited the LNJP Hospital on Wednesday to meet family members of patients, take their feedback, review the facilities and encourage the staff and doctors.
Instructions have been issued to keep sufficient ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients. Hygiene is supreme and must be maintained at all times, he said.
During the visit, the minister said, "Delhi is seeing an unprecedented surge. In view of the same, I visited the patients at LNJP Hospital. LNJP has treated the maximum number of patients in India. The doctors and staff have been working really hard and I am very grateful for their dedication."
"The management has been directed to ensure a quick admission process for severely sick patients. The hospital must make sure that there is zero rejection of patients. It must be watched over that sufficient ICU beds should be available for Covid patients," Mr Jain said.
Reeling under the fourth wave of COVID-19, the national capital on Tuesday recorded the highest-ever spike of 13,468 cases and 81 deaths, giving it the dubious distinction of being the worst-affected city in the county.
The highest single-day spike in Mumbai stands at 9,986 cases till date, followed by Bengaluru (6,387 cases), Chennai (2,105) and Kolkata ( 1,271 cases).
On Tuesday, the positivity rate rose to 13.14 per cent from 12.44 per cent a day ago.
The daily fatality count of 81 deaths on Tuesday was the highest in the city since December 3, when 82 people died of the disease. The national capital had recorded 131 COVID-19 deaths on November 18, the highest single-day fatality count till date.
From April 4 to April 13, Delhi has recorded 77,775 COVID-19 cases, witnessing a massive rise of 234 per cent. During the same period, 376 people have died due to the disease.
Mr Jain said that while COVID Care Centres are operational, people are either preferring to go to hospitals or be home-isolated.
Out of 5,525 beds at these centres, only 286 are occupied, he added.
On the number of rising cases and deaths, the minister said, "Numbers have increased and even a single death is unfortunate. But we are also are doing the largest number of tests in the country."