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As Delhi Sees Highest Daily Spike for 2nd Straight Day, Minister Says 'Third Covid-19 Wave May Already be Here'

People are seen at a market amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, on October 19, 2020. (REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files)

People are seen at a market amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, on October 19, 2020. (REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files)

The city recorded 5,739 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday as the infection tally in the city mounted to over 3.75 lakh. The previous highest single-day spike of 5,673 cases was recorded on Wednesday.

On a day when Delhi recorded the highest single-day spike till date, Health Minister Satyender Jain said that the possibility of third wave of coronavirus cannot be ruled out. This is the second consecutive day when over 5,000 cases have been reported in a day in the city.

"It is too early to say that Delhi is experiencing the third wave of Covid-19 cases. We must wait for another week in order to definitively say that, but it possible that we're already in that phase," Jain, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The city recorded 5,739 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday as the infection tally in the city mounted to over 3.75 lakh. The previous highest single-day spike of 5,673 cases was recorded on Wednesday. Twenty-seven new fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,423, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

Amid the festive season and increasing pollution levels, Delhi on Wednesday witnessed more than 5,600 Covid-19 cases for the first time, with the city is recording a sudden spike in daily incidences in the past few days.

Jain said that the Delhi government has changed its Covid-19 testing strategy to include family members and close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients and attributed the sudden uptick in cases to the increased testing efforts.

"Delhi reported 5,673 Covid-19 cases and 40 deaths yesterday. We have over 10,000 beds vacant with us and over 5,000 beds are occupied. Ahead of the festive and winter season, we have changed our strategy, we are testing family members and close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients," he told ANI.

Notably, the sudden spike in cases comes amid the festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, the next festival is Diwali and Chhath in November. On Thursday, with the increase of pollutants in the atmosphere and decline in wind speed, air quality in the national capital deteriorated to 'very poor' category on Thursday morning.

As per Delhi Pollution Control Committee data, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is at 376 in RK Puram, 384 in ITO, 311 in Lodhi Road, 387 in Punjabi Bagh- all four in the 'very poor' category while AQI in Jahangirpuri, Anand Vihar entered 'severe' category and was recorded at 420 and 401 respectively.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi government announced that all schools will continue to be closed till further orders in view of the coronavirus situation. Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 tally crossed the 80-lakh mark on Thursday with 49,881 additional cases, while the recoveries have surged to 73.15 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 90.99 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry data.


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