2,373 fresh COVID-19 cases in Delhi take tally to over 92K; death toll mounts to 2,864

On June 23, the city had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases

2,373 fresh COVID-19 cases in Delhi take tally to over 92K; death toll mounts to 2,864

Plasma donors at ILBS Hospital, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 2, 2020. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi, July 2

Delhi recorded 2,373 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally in the city to over 92,000-mark, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,864, authorities said.

On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases, till date.

Recently, Delhi had eclipsed Mumbai as the city worst-hit by the pandemic in the country.

Sixty-one fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, the Delhi Health Department bulletin said on Thursday.

AS many as 3,015 patients recovered on Thursday, taking the number of those recovered to 63,007. There are 26,304 active cases in the national capital.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi stood at 2,803 on Wednesday.

The bulletin said the death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 2,864, and the total number of cases mounted to 92,175.

Meanwhile, a plasma bank for treating COVID-19 was made operational on Thursday in Delhi which saw the total number of cases crossing 92,000 even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah suggested extensive use of Aarogya Setu and Itihaas apps to help mapping of the coronavirus cases in the NCR region.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visits the Plasma Bank at ILBS Hospital in New Delhi on Thursday, July 2, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The plasma bank came up at the Delhi government’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).

Also read: Delhi govt issues eligibility criteria for donation of plasma

Addressing an online media briefing, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the eligibility for being a plasma donor is “very strict”, and hoped that with this bank the number of COVID-19 deaths would decrease in the national capital.

Patients could donate their plasma 14 days after recovery, he said.

After inaugurating the plasma bank, he urged those who have recovered from the disease to donate plasma to other patients.

Home Minister Shah also chaired a high-level meeting which was attended by the chief ministers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Shah has been steering the COVID-19 response strategy in Delhi-NCR.

“HM Shri @AmitShah emphasised on, 1. Adoption of more testing using Rapid Antigen Test Kits to help reduce the infection transmission rate. These kits can be provided by GoI to UP and Haryana. 2. Focus on early hospitalization to reduce mortality rates. 3. Extensive use of Aarogya Setu & Itihaas App to help mapping of COVID in NCR,” a Home Ministry spokesperson tweeted.

The National Capital Region is a densely populated urban belt comprising cities like Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. It spreads across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Among the cities, Delhi has the highest number of cases in the country.

“Today, we have started the plasma bank and some people have also donated. As we all know there is no vaccine for novel coronavirus yet, but plasma therapy seems to be quite helpful for COVID patients,” Kejriwal said.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia take stock of Plasma Bank at ILBS Hospital, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 2, 2020. PTI

It (plasma donation) was happening in a scattered way, so the idea was to bring it at one place in an organised manner, he said.

Plasma therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those into a coronavirus-infected patient to help kickstart the immune system to fight the infection.

Explaining the procedure of donating plasma, an official said it is separated from the blood of the donor using a plasmapheresis machine. ILBS has 10 of these machines at present, and two more are expected to arrive soon, a senior doctor at the institute said.

On the first day, many who have recovered from COVID-19, including the ILBS staff, donated plasma.

Sources said about 90 staff at ILBS have tested positive till date.

For donors, there were some strict criteria and counselling and screening is done for them before the actual donation process begins, so, about two to two-and-a-half hours is the total time per donor, the doctor said.

“Also, we do TTI (Transfusion Transmissible Infections) tests. So, the donor should not have HIV, hepatitis B or C, syphilis among other ailments. The donor also should not have any co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension or renal problems,” she said.

Each donor, a person who has recently recovered from COVID-19, develops antibodies, which are transferred to the recipient through plasma.

“Each person can donate 250-500 ml of plasma. We give the first dosage of 250 ml to the recipient, and if needed a second dosage of 250 ml after 24 hours,” a senior doctor at LNJP hospital said.

In a related development, the Delhi government constituted a 12-member expert panel to suggest measures for economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 in the national capital, a statement said.

The city government also announced a remote teaching-learning plan for all classes in its schools in wake of the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the plan focuses on reducing the academic loss of students, the government is focusing on addressing the issues of the digital divide as not all students have access to internet or smartphones, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced.

Schools in Delhi have been shut till July 31. PTI