Amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital over the last week, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said the COVID-19 infection rate in the national capital is below 10 per cent even as experts attributed the increase to opening up of economy and patients from outside seeking treatment in New Delhi.
Delhi recorded 1,450 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day spike in August, taking the infection tally to over 1.61 lakh, while the death count mounted to 4,300.
Sunday’s spike in fresh cases surpassed Saturday’s increase of 1,412 cases.
Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of coronavirus cases since August 1.
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 August 9, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases again stayed above the 1,000-mark only to come down to 707 on August 10.
Three days between August 11 and August 22 saw less than 1,000 fresh cases being reported — August 13 (956), August 16 (652), and August 17 (787).
Co-incidentally, the number of tests conducted on the days the capital recorded cases below 1,000 were below the average 20,000 tests which are being conducted on a daily basis, according to data.
When questioned about the increase in cases, Mr Jain told reporters, “There was a time when the infection rate was above 40 per cent, then it came down to 30 per cent and now it is below 10 per cent. There can be a difference of 1 to 1.5 per cent.”
Mr Jain has been reiterating that 33 per cent of the patients coming to the city for treatment are from outside Delhi.
Dr BL Sherwal, medical director of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, said with people resuming work, the surge was expected.
“Almost everything is opening up… But if the cases cross 2,000, then it’s a cause of worry. There is a slight surge but we will not say it’s worrying as far as illnesses is mild or asymptomatic. The mortality is in control and that is a big relief for all of us. Overall people are taking precautions,” he added.
Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, respiratory and critical care medicine, Apollo Hospitals, said the surge is partially because of people coming from outside.
“In Apollo, 70 per cent of patients admitted are from outside Delhi. Patients come to Delhi for admission for better healthcare facilities. Their relatives are roaming around, some of whom are also positive cases,” he added.
On June 23, Delhi recorded 3,947 fresh cases, the highest daily number of cases in 24 hours since the outbreak.
The numbers have improved steadily since June. The recovery rate which had fallen to nearly 36 per cent in June is now over 90 per cent. – NDTV