Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Saturday said the surge in COVID-19 cases recorded in September "seems to have plateaued" and should show a "rapid fall". Interacting with reporters, he also said, the next sero-prevalence survey, slated to be conducted from October 1, is likely to be delayed as the report of the September survey is to be put before the Delhi High Court by this month-end.
"The overall case fatality rate on Friday was 1.95 per cent, so less than 2 per cent. It used to be 3.5 per cent and above earlier. Also, cases which were coming in excess of over 4,000 per day have come down over the past few days. So, the surge we saw in September seems to have plateaued, and it should see a rapid fall," he said. Asked if the testing will now be scaled down, the minister said, no, it will remain the same. Even, cases which were reported on Friday were from the over 59,000 tests done the previous day, he said.
The next round of sero-prevalence survey is slated to begin from October 1. The previous exercise was held in the first week of September and its results have not been shared by the Delhi government. "The results of the last sero-survey are to be put first before the High Court, so, it seems there will be a delay in starting the next round, as it takes time to do preparations, so October 1 starting date it seems highly unlikely," Jain told reporters.
Asked if a mayor and a minister contracting COVID-19 sends out a signal that perhaps COVID-19 norms are not being followed properly, Jain countered saying, "They are public representatives, and if they contract COVID-19, it does not mean that they violated norms". "Even healthcare workers who wear full PPE kits, contracted it. So this virus does not discriminate between a minister and the common man. Its behaviour is unpredictable," he added.
On chances of double infection of COVID-19 and dengue, he said, it is "too early" to comment on this matter. Asked if symptomatic people who tested negative in a rapid antigen test are to take RT-PCR test, he said, there are "strict orders" mandating that such people have to undergo the more reliable RT-PCR test.
On supply of oxygen through equipment, he reiterated , there is stock for 6-7 days. COVID-19 cases have shown a surge since the beginning of this month with 4,473 infections reported on September 16, the highest single-day spike here till date. The daily cases in Delhi had breached the 4000-mark for the first time on September 9 when the death count was 20 (overall 4,638 fatalities) and the caseload had crossed the 2 lakh-mark. From September 9-19, fresh cases have been recorded in excess of 4,000 per day except on September 14 when the figure stood at 3,229 with 26 deaths being recorded that day, taking the toll to 4,770, according to official data.
The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing over the past few days. The number of tests conducted and corresponding fresh cases reported, ranged from 24,198 (2,312) on September 1 to 61,973 (4071) on September 19.
Since September 20, cases have remained below the 4,000-mark. Delhi recorded 3,827 COVID-19 cases on Friday, as the tally in the city mounted to over 2.64 lakh, while the death toll climbed to 5147.