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Delhi Records Highest Spike in Cases in 69 Days, No Chance of Another Lockdown, Says Official

A health worker collects a sample from a migrant worker who returned to Delhi. (Reuters/file)

A health worker collects a sample from a migrant worker who returned to Delhi. (Reuters/file)

Medical experts have already flagged multiple reasons that could have led to surge in cases in the past one week or so, including, reopening of economy and many people not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms in public.

Delhi recorded 2,914 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day spike here in 69 days, as the tally mounted to over 1.85 lakh, while a senior official claimed that there was no chance of another lockdown as it "wasn't an alarming surge". This is the fourth successive day in September when over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in a day. Also, over 36,000 tests were conducted on Friday.

A senior Delhi government official when asked about the spiralling number of COVID-29 cases, and whether there could be another lockdown, however, said, cases have increased as testing has been ramped up, "so, it is not that cases are rising alarmingly, and hence there is no chance of going back to lockdown". Thirteen fatalities have been recorded in the national capital in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,513, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department.

Medical experts have already flagged multiple reasons that could have led to surge in cases in the past one week or so, including, reopening of economy and many people not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms in public. On June 27, the city had recorded 2,948 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike before September 3.

On Thursday, 19 deaths were reported and the daily cases count was 2,737. On September 1 and 2, the fresh cases count stood at 2,312 and 2,509, respectively. The active cases tally on Friday rose to 18,842 from 17,692 the previous day.

On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases, till date. The death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi stood at 4,500 on Thursday.

The Friday bulletin said the death toll from coronavirus infection has risen to 4,513 and the total number of cases climbed to 1,85,220. The positivity rate on Friday stood at 8 per cent while the recovery rate was over 87 per cent, as per the bulletin. Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain held a meeting with medical directors and medical superintendents of all Delhi government hospitals to review the status of testing, the bulletin said.

Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev Delhi held a meeting on COVID-19 management, through video conferencing. The number of fresh and active cases have shown an increase in the last several days.

The senior government official claimed that the rise in COVID-19 cases lately is "because testing has been increased significantly". Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently announced to double its scale to 40,000 tests per day.

Also, the increase to some extent is due to opening up of various activities under unlock process, the official said. "When testing was at 10,000-12,000 per day level, daily cases numbered around 2,000-3,000. Now, when testing has increased to over 36,000 per day, the number of COVID-19 positive cases were just over 2,900 today," he said.

However, on Friday, the number of containment zones jumped to 949 from 922 the previous day, according to the bulletin. Last week, Jain had said that the increase in number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi was due to various reasons, including outside patients coming to Delhi, and increased scale of testing.

He had also said that the number of tests were lower as people had stayed home during the recent festivals and now tests have increased and so has the number of positive cases. The last week of August saw a 35 per cent increase in coronavirus cases as compared to the previous week, with 30 to 40 per cent of the new cases coming from the same family, according to an analysis done by the Delhi government's Health Department.

The health department analysed the cases in August, which saw a spike, and found that the infection was spilling over to rural and middle-class pockets and there are increasing incidences of cases in migrant habitations. Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of novel coronavirus cases since the beginning of this month.

On August 1, the city recorded 1,118 fresh cases while for the next three days, the number of infections reported in a single-day stayed below the 1,000-mark. From August 5 to 9, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases again stayed above the 1,000-mark only to come down to 707 on August 10.

Since August 18, cases again have been coming in four-figure count. According to the bulletin, out of 1,4159 total number of beds in COVID hospitals, 9,429 are vacant.

Also, 2,805 beds in COVID care centres are occupied by persons under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by the Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights, it said. According to the bulletin, 1,61,865 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far.

The number of people in home isolation stands at 9,822. The number of Rapid Antigen Tests conducted on Friday stood at 27,731 while the RT-PCR, CBNAAT and True NAAT tests figures were 8,488 in all adding to 32,834, the bulletin said.

The total number of tests done till date in Delhi stands at 17,05,571. The number of tests done per million as on Friday was 89,767, it said.