The national capital is grappling with the third wave of the coronavirus. On Saturday, Delhi recorded 6,608 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day, taking the infection tally on Friday to over 5.17 lakh, while 118 more fatalities during the same period pushed the death toll to 8,159. The highest single-day spike in cases till date in Delhi was 8,593, which was recorded on November 11; on that day, 85 fatalities were registered. Delhi has witnessed a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28, when the daily caseload breached the 5,000-mark for the first time, and recorded the highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11.
The total number of cases climbed to 5,17,238, of which 4,68,143 have recovered. The city currently has 40,936 active cases, down from 43,221 the previous day. According to a bulletin issued by the Delhi health department, the positivity rate was 10.59 per cent, which the state touted as a "clear indicator" that the spread of the virus was decreasing in the national capital. "The positivity rate was 15.26 per cent on November 7. It is less than 11 per cent now. The maximum number of cases [8,593] were reported on November 10," Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.
“The peak of Delhi’s third wave has passed. The first wave was in June, the second wave was in September. You look at the positivity, it was 15 per cent one day, but that level was not reached after it. The peak is gone and slowly it will come down,” the minister said. He said that “positivity” is the most important factor. “In June, the weekly average of positivity was 37 per cent, in the second wave also it went up to 12-13 per cent, now the highest was 15 per cent and is now decreasing,” he said.
Like the previous two waves of coronavirus, the third one will end soon in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, urging Delhiites to make wearing mask a movement to arrest the spread of COVID-19 amid festive season and rising air pollution.
From November 1 to November 16, Delhi has recorded over one lakh new coronavirus cases and around 1,200 deaths. Nearly 94,000 COVID-19 patients recovered during the same period.
On November 12, 104 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest till then in over five months (it was breached again on Saturday with 118 deaths), were recorded in the city. According to health department data, 1,01,070 coronavirus cases have been recorded so far this month. Also, 1,202 people have died of COVID-19 while 93,885 coronavirus patients have recovered from the virus since November 1.
Delhi had recorded 5,664 cases on November 1, which increased to 8,593 on November 11, the highest-single-day spike till date. The city had recorded 7,053 new cases on November 12, followed by 7,802 (November 13), 7,340 (November 14), 3,235 (November 15) and 3,797 (November 16). From November 11-16, the fatality count stood at 85, 104, 91, 96, 95, and 99 respectively. Similarly, 7,606 COVID-19 patients had recovered on November 15, the highest single-day recovery count this month.
A door-to-door survey for identifying and testing people symptomatic for COVID-19 in containment and densely packed areas of the city commenced on Friday. The survey will be completed within five days and will cover over 57 lakh people in containment zones, dense areas and identified clusters of virus transmission.
Health minister Jain told reporters that the survey is aimed at identifying and testing symptomatic people living in containment zones and densely packed areas. According to him, all the containment zones and super-spreader areas are being covered through teams including teachers, municipal corporation staff, Asha workers and civil defence volunteers. The survey will be completed within 5 days. There are currently over 4,500 containment zones in Delhi.
Union health ministry assures
Amid spikes in different states, the Union health ministry assured that the national cumulative positivity rate remained low and continued a downward trajectory. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), over 13.06 crore samples have been tested till November 20 with 10,66,022 being tested on Friday.
The cumulative national COVID-19 positivity rate has declined and stood at 6.93 per cent as on date while the daily positivity rate on Friday was just 4.34 per cent. Higher volumes of testing eventually lead to low positivity rate, the ministry said. "An average of more than 10 lakh tests conducted daily has ensured that the cumulative positivity rate is sustained at low levels and is presently following a downward trajectory," the ministry underlined.
The last one crore COVID-19 tests were conducted in a span of just 10 days. 24 states and Union territories have conducted more tests per million population than India as a whole. 12 states have lower tests per million population than the national average and they have been advised to substantially ramp up the levels of testing, the ministry underscored.
According the health ministry data updated on Saturday, 46,232 people were found to be infected with COVID-19 in a span of 24 hours. "The daily positivity rate of 4.34 per cent point out that a comparatively huge volume was tested to detect these cases from the population. With a continuous surge in daily cases in European and the American countries, India is taking all cautionary steps to bring the trajectory of the disease under control.”
“In view of the increase in coronavirus cases of some of the north Indian states, the Centre has advised all states and Union Territories to ramp up testing," the ministry said.
-Inputs from agencies