Delhi unlock process: How Covid-19 cases came down from 28K to just over 1K
After 42 days of lockdown-like curbs to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Delhi started the process of lifting these restrictions from Monday. In these six weeks, Delhi saw close to 5.5 lakh confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 11,000 deaths, according to the data shared by the state government in health bulletins.
Delhi went into a complete lockdown on April 19 when it was faced with spiraling cases that burdened health infrastructure, forcing people to scramble for beds, oxygen cylinder and medicines like Remdesivir and Fabiflu.
On April 19, the cumulative cases and deaths in Delhi stood at 877,146 and 12,361 respectively. On May 30, a day before partial easing of the curbs began, total confirmed cases and deaths were logged at 1,425,592 and 24,151 respectively, according to figures from health bulletins. During this period, the national capital recorded a total of 548,446 Covid-19 positive cases and 11,790 deaths.
The situation eased for authorities in the last week of May when Covid-19 cases dropped below the 1,000-mark. In the period of lockdown, Delhi has also brought its test positivity rate below 2%. Ringing alarm bells among authorities and citizens, the positivity rate in Delhi had soared to 35% on April 26; the daily caseload also crossed 28,000 that month.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the positivity rate needs to come down below 5% for the outbreak to be considered under control.
Cautioning the people, Delhi Police on Sunday said that situation in the national capital is still precarious. To keep the disease spread under control, the police will be ensuring strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour, like usage of face coverings, frequent sanitization, social distancing, no spitting at public places, no consumption of pan, gutka, tobacco and liquor at the workplace, staggering of work hours, screening and hygiene.
In a bid to bring down the infection count in the national capital significantly, Delhi pushed for a stricter lockdown under which Metro train services were suspended and wedding ceremonies at public places prohibited.
Marriages in Delhi are being held at homes or in courts with not more than 20 people, as prescribed by an order of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
Service providers or owners of hotels, banquets, marriage halls, sound system, DJ, catering will have to return the advance payments for marriages during the lockdown or will have to mutually agree on a later date for the ceremonies, the order by the Delhi government had said.
Authorities including local administration, police, civic bodies and mandis were made responsible for ensuring Covid-19-appropriate behaviour at inter-state bus terminals, railway stations, wholesale vegetable and fruit markets and shops providing essential goods.
Delhi has witnessed four distinct waves of Covid-19, according to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The last one which started in late-March – coinciding with the second wave in the country – was the most severe and left the healthcare system in the national capital overwhelmed.