Delhi sees 2 deaths as Covid cases rise

  • There have only been four deaths in the past 30 days, and six deaths were reported in the 30 days before that, and 14 in the 30 days prior. In comparison, at the peak of the second wave, 448 deaths were recorded in a single day on May 3.
The Covid-19 positivity rate, too, has started inching up, data shows. The seven-day average of positivity rate, which had dropped to a near all-time low of 0.05% three weeks ago (for the week ended October 22) has risen marginally to 0.9% for the week ended Friday.(HT File)
The Covid-19 positivity rate, too, has started inching up, data shows. The seven-day average of positivity rate, which had dropped to a near all-time low of 0.05% three weeks ago (for the week ended October 22) has risen marginally to 0.9% for the week ended Friday.(HT File)
Published on Nov 13, 2021 07:05 AM IST
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By, , Hindustan Times, New Delhi

With 62 new infections of the coronavirus disease reported in Delhi on Friday, the highest in 79 days, new cases of Covid-19 appear to have again started rising in the Capital, data shows, suggesting that the seven-month-long contraction of the outbreak in the city may be bottoming out again.

The city also reported two deaths due to the infection on Friday, which is the highest in 45 days, since September 28
The city also reported two deaths due to the infection on Friday, which is the highest in 45 days, since September 28

Experts have warned that while the increase in infections in the city appear to be still in the nascent stages, it is crucial for the government to closely monitor the numbers, ensure adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour, and increase testing, contact tracing and vaccination.

The city also reported two deaths due to the infection on Friday, which is the highest in 45 days, since September 28, data shows. There have only been four deaths in the past 30 days, and six deaths were reported in the 30 days before that, and 14 in the 30 days prior. In comparison, at the peak of the second wave, 448 deaths were recorded in a single day on May 3.

“An increase in the number of cases has been reported not only in Delhi but from across the country – cases went up in West Bengal after Diwali; number of deaths has increased in Maharashtra and Kerala as well. There is an increasing trend and we need to be vigilant...,” said Dr Suneela Garg, professor of community medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College and a member of the Lancet Commission on Covid-19 in India.

A minor blip in trajectory of Covid-19 cases in Delhi that began towards the end of October appears to have now gathered momentum, with the new infection rate appearing to slowly rise again after a bottoming out, the data shows.

The seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases (a number which reflects the case trajectory of a region) in Delhi has now risen by 68% from lows seen after the end of the brutal second wave of the pandemic (from 25 cases a day week ending October 21, to 42 cases a day for week ending Friday). Incidentally, the October 21 case rate was the lowest Delhi’s wave has dropped to in the year-and-a-half of the outbreak expanding in the country.

To be sure, these numbers are still minuscule compared to the previous wave of infections in Delhi – at the peak of the city’s fourth wave (which coincided with the brutal second wave of infections in India), the Capital was reporting and average of 25,294 new cases a day for the week ending April 26, 2021.

The Covid-19 positivity rate, too, has started inching up, data shows. The seven-day average of positivity rate, which had dropped to a near all-time low of 0.05% three weeks ago (for the week ended October 22) has risen marginally to 0.9% for the week ended Friday.

Experts have said this rise is particularly worrying as it comes at a time when fever wards are already full of dengue cases. The largest Covid-19 hospital in the city, Lok Nayak, is currently receiving five times as many dengue cases as Covid-19, with their fever ward running full.

“We are still seeing some Covid-19 patients, probably five to six a day. But dengue cases continue to remain high; every day we see 20-30 dengue patients... we have started a 100-bed fever ward for all those who come in with mosquito borne diseases, seasonal flu, and Covid-19. It is almost always 80% full,” said a senior doctor from the hospital, on condition of anonymity.

Experts said that the state government needed to step up its testing and tracking activities, whereas the central government needed to reduce the gap between two doses of Covishield.

“...the government should test more people and trace 15 to 20 contacts for each. There is a need to ensure that people follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour... In addition, we have seen that there is a huge gap between the numbers of people who have received the first dose of the vaccine and the second dose. This is important especially because we have seen in Israel that despite vaccinating a high proportion of the population there was an increase in cases,” said Garg.

She added, it was also time for the government to think about allowing booster doses in the health care workers.

Around 88% of Delhi’s adult population have received at least one vaccine dose, as against a national average of 79.8%.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jamie Mullick works as a chief content producer at Hindustan Times. He uses data and graphics to tell his stories.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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