Alarm for Capital as new Covid-19 cases hit 17,000
- Over the last two weeks, new cases in Delhi have increased by 586%, and the city now has over 50,000 active cases
India’s daily tally of new infections of Covid-19 stopped just short of the 200,000 mark on Wednesday, as the number of new infections in Delhi soared past previous records with an alarming 17,282 cases recorded in a single day.
India reported 199,506 cases on Wednesday, according to HT’s Covid-19 dashboard, taking the total number of infections in the country to 14,070,831. A total of 1,036 new deaths were lodged across the country on Wednesday, for a toll of 173,170.
In Delhi, the test positivity rate – a crucial proxy for outbreak severity – was 15.92%, higher than it had been in the city’s last two waves, bringing yet more signs that the crisis has taken an unprecedented turn and may now require stringent curbs.
Over the last two weeks, new cases in Delhi have increased by 586%, and the city now has over 50,000 active cases – the most it has ever had – in what may turn into an unmanageable threat for the health care capacity.
Experts believe the curbs announced last week may have come too late, and the Capital may have little option but to enter a circuit-breaker lockdown in which non-essential activities are temporarily barred.
Apart from Delhi, the onslaught of the virus was particularly evident in metros such as Chennai and Bengaluru, with these cities setting new records for daily infections on Wednesday, even as Mumbai, India’s worst-hit urban centre, went under a 15-day curfew.
A record 8,155 new cases were reported in Bengaluru on Wednesday, while Chennai also set an all-time record with 2,564 new cases.
In Mumbai, 9,931 new cases were reported on Wednesday as the city, along with the state of Maharashtra, entered a curfew until the end of April to battle the expanding outbreak. The state, which accounts for about a quarter of the country’s total coronavirus cases, reported 58,952 new infections on Wednesday.
Nationally, the number of cases on Wednesday continued a sharp increase from the 185,287 reported on Tuesday, which itself was an all-time single-day record.
The seven-day average of national positivity rate has now soared to 11.7% for the week ending Wednesday, the second highest it has ever been. This means that more than one positive case is emerging out of every 10 samples being tested for Covid-19 across the country.
The last time the national positivity rate was higher than this was for the week ending July 25.
The seven-day average of daily infections, which denotes the case curve of a region, has now surpassed the peak of the first wave in at least 12 states and Union territories across the country, a statistic that shows the geographical spread of the current outbreak.
These are Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
All these regions have been setting new records for daily infections on a near-daily basis over the past few weeks.