Delhi’s Covid-19 deaths in September the lowest since 1st month of outbreak

Updated on Oct 01, 2021 04:43 AM IST
  • The statistic, culled from the government’s daily health bulletins, comes even as the seven-day average of deaths from Covid-19, nationally, hit a six-month low of 288.
So far, according to data from the state government, 25,087 people in Delhi have died of Covid-19. (HT Photo)
So far, according to data from the state government, 25,087 people in Delhi have died of Covid-19. (HT Photo)
BySaurya Sengupta, New Delhi

Delhi saw only five deaths from the coronavirus disease in September, the least in a month since March 2020, when the pandemic broke, a number that highlights the near-return-to-normalcy of a region battered by the most recent wave of the viral infection in April and May.

The statistic, culled from the government’s daily health bulletins, comes even as the seven-day average of deaths from Covid-19, nationally, hit a six-month low of 288.

In Delhi, no Covid-19 deaths were registered in 26 days last month. The city added one death each on September 7, 16 and 17, and logged two on September 28. That would make its seven-day average of deaths 0.28.

The city’s seven-day average of daily new cases on September 30 was 33 compared to the national number of 25,530.

With over 38.5% of its eligible population fully vaccinated and another 41.5% having received one dose of the vaccine, experts say that the September numbers call for the easing of more restrictions. Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a public health expert, said that given the low caseload in the city, activities should stay open, and advocated for reopening schools for all classes, especially primary ones.

“Schools should be open, and primary classes should be the first to be reopened,” said Dr Lahariya, arguing that children were at a comparatively low risk of falling ill from Covid-19.

The number of active cases in Delhi on September 30 was 400.

Delhi registered two Covid-19 deaths in March 2020. To be sure, the first case of the viral disease was registered on March 2 last year, and the first death of the infection was reported 11 days later, when a 69-year-old woman succumbed to the disease.

So far, according to data from the state government, 25,087 people in Delhi have died of Covid-19. Nearly a third of these came in May this year, when 8,090 people succumbed to the infection, at the height of the city’s fourth surge in infections. Over half of Delhi’s Covid-19 deaths, 13,210, to be precise, came in April and May, as an unprecedented surge in cases led by the more infectious Delta variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus ravaged the city. Oxygen supplies ran thin across hospitals, most beds were occupied, and even crematoriums were packed as residents from across Delhi and the National Capital Region scrambled for health care.

The most deaths on a single day came on May 3, when 448 people succumbed to the infection.

The state government put in place a lockdown from April 19, to stem the spread of infections, and the surge began to peter out in mid-May.

Delhi added 47 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, showed state government data, the 93rd consecutive day that the city registered fewer than 100 fresh infections. The daily average of cases over the past week, also known as case trajectory, was 33 as on Thursday evening, with the number at its lowest levels since the outbreak of the infection in March last year.

Thursday’s infections came on the back of 72,386 tests, at a positivity rate of 0.06%.

The test positivity rate is a crucial metric to understand the spread of an infection in a region. As a rule of thumb, tracking a region’s positivity rate serves as a good barometer for whether cases are going to increase or decrease in the coming days: a rising positivity rate generally means cases will rise in the immediate future, while a dropping positivity rate tends to precede a drop in new infections.

In Delhi, this number has been below 5% for 133 days, below 1% for 123 days, and below 0.10% for 53 days.

Experts attributed the downturn in Delhi’s Covid-19 graph to a combination of two factors — natural immunity gained from past infections and vaccinations.

Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the epidemiology division at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said a lot of people in Delhi fell severely ill during the April and May surge, leaving survivors with a high level of antibodies.

The last serological survey conducted in Delhi in April, which was truncated due to the spike in infections, showed that 56% of the 13,000 samples collected had antibodies to the Sars-Cov-2 virus. The previous five surveys returned readings of 56.13%, 25.5%, 25.1%, 29.1%, and 22.6%, respectively.

A seventh survey is ongoing in Delhi, and its results are expected to be out by mid-October.

“The antibody levels in those with serious symptoms would be higher than those who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. This, combined with the number of vaccinations in the city will have also contributed to the drop in deaths,” said Dr Kant.

Dr Lahariya, meanwhile, said that a surge in cases as severe as Delhi’s fourth wave is “unlikely”.

“Even if there is a rise in cases, it is very, very unlikely that it will be of the magnitude of what we saw during the second wave [Delhi’s fourth] of infections,” he said.

State government officials attributed the drop in deaths and infections to the Arvind Kejriwal government’s focus on “micro-level monitoring and management”.

“The number of cases has reduced because of the government paying extra care towards micro-level monitoring and management of Covid-19 testing, vaccination and ensuring public places do not get crowded,” the Delhi government said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Kejriwal government has shown absolute resilience in its fight against Covid-19 and is actively working towards sensitising the citizens and spreading awareness even at the most minute levels to protect as many people as possible,” the statement added.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The skywalk near Viviana Mall in Thane Praful Gangurde/HT Photo

    Locals flag safety concerns on skywalk nearly two km from CM Shinde’s residence

    Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad's home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde's residence.

  • Mumbai, India – August 16, 2018: A view of Ramtek Bungalow, at Walkeshwar, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, Aug 16, 2018. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT) (HT PHOTO)

    Newly-appointed ministers lobby for posh Malabar Hill official bungalows

    With its private beach and a sprawling lawn, Ramtek bungalow in Malabar Hill leads the list, followed by Royal Stone, a colonial-style bungalow with wooden flooring located in Peddar Road. While Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have requested for Royal Stone, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, labour minister Suresh Khade and Vikhe-Patil are vying for Ramtek bungalow, the largest bungalow after Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.

  • Mumbai, India - August 15, 2022: Two senior citizens died after the ceiling portion from the first floor of the ground-plus-two Moti Chhaya Building collapsed on Monday evening at Mulund (East), in Mumbai, India, on Monday, August 15, 2022. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

    Mulund building collapse: Roof gives way, killing old couple

    Mumbai: Two senior citizens lost their lives after the ceiling of a residential structure in which they resided came down on Monday evening. The deceased were identified as Devshankar Nathalal Shukla (93) and his wife, Arkhiben Devshankar Shukla (87). According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster control cell, the incident took place at around 7.46 pm, on the first floor of the building.

  • Widespread protests had broken out across Shivamogga in February over the murder of 26-year-old Bajrang Dal activist Harsha. (Representational photo)

    Violence erupts over Savarkar, Tipu photos in Shivamogga

    Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan. A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.

  • A policeman salutes the national flag, in Bengaluru. (PTI)

    In a first, Tricolour hoisted at Idgah Maidan amid tight vigil

    In a first, the national flag was hoisted amid tight security on Monday morning at Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet. The Tricolour was hoisted at the Idgah Maidan by assistant commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) MG Shivanna. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Sandeep Patil and deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Laxman Nimbargi were also present in the event.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now