The peak of the second COVID wave — based on which the Delhi government is preparing for the next wave — officially claimed nearly 12,000 lives but led to 16,000 funerals in the Capital in just over a month.
As per the COVID death figures provided by the government and funeral data by the civic bodies, it has emerged that there continued to be a difference of 4,000 cases between the two.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the peak had seen a maximum of 28,000 COVID cases in a single day.
This figure — of 28,395 new cases to be precise — was recorded on April 20 when the government recorded 277 deaths and the city witnessed 410 funerals.
This peak of single-day cases has now informed the Delhi government’s decision to conclude that it should prepare for a peak of 37,000 daily cases during the potential third wave of infection.
Figures recorded by the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporations after this peak reveal the extent of the damage inflicted on the city by COVID’s second wave.
Through a 42-day period, which ended last month, the government recorded over 11 deaths every hour culminating in a daily average of 282 COVID deaths per day; the municipal corporations noted the last rites of over 378 COVID-afflicted patients each day — or more than 15 funerals an hour.
After reaching peak
After attaining its peak on April 20, COVID claimed 11,870 lives, according to the Delhi government and led to 15,905 funerals by May 31. While the highest number of single-day deaths conceded by the government — 448 — was recorded on May 3, at 717, the number of funerals in the city had already peaked four days prior to this.
According to records, the number of COVID funerals continued to be significantly higher than the number of COVID deaths recorded by the government for the most part of the 42-day interval before both almost became aligned on May 16 when the government recorded 262 deaths and the civic bodies’ 274 funerals.
Reversal in trend
Beginning May 17, the trend was reversed — more deaths were acknowledged by the government on a daily basis compared to funerals taking place at city crematoria and burial ground — which a government source attributed to the addition of deaths from previous days after being verified as COVID deaths.
On May 17, for instance, 340 deaths were recorded by the government against 254 last rites by the civic bodies, 265 against 225 on May 18, 235 against 202 on May 19, 233 against 222 on May 20. By the end of the month, both dropped to double digits: 78 deaths were recorded against 68 funerals on May 30 and 86 against 50 on May 31.
This article was originally published on The Hindu