Delhi’s second Covid wave has already peaked: Arvind Kejriwal
With the number of daily new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the city dropping consistently since its mid-September peak, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the “second wave” of the infections had already peaked, and the situation in the Capital was under control.
“The Covid-19 situation in Delhi is under control now. The peak of the second wave of infections was witnessed on September 17, when around 4,500 cases were recorded. With time, the number of fresh cases have gone down even with the high number of tests being done. Similarly, the occupancy of hospital beds that had gone up to about 7,200 has dropped again to 5,500. The occupancy in ICUs has reduced too. I hope we are past the second peak,” said Kejriwal during his visit to a manufacturing plant of crop stubble decomposer in Najafgarh.
On September 17, 4,432 cases of Covid-19 had been reported.
Kejriwal had earlier mentioned the possibility of Delhi already having moving past the peak of the “second wave” of Covid-19 on August 24.
The number of cases of the infection had shot up during the second and third weeks of September. As per data shared by the Delhi government, an average of 4,001 cases were being reported each day during the second week of September, 3,960 during the third week, after which the number came down to 2,780 during the previous week.
The Capital added 2,676 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, when 53,591 tests were conducted.
“The number of cases is definitely coming down, as per the data available in the public domain. However, to say whether this was the second wave of infection and whether we are past it, we will need more detailed data. In epidemiology, a second wave will be when the first wave has subsided to the baseline and has remained low for some time before going up,” said Dr Puneet Mishra, professor of community medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Mishra said it is likely the cases will keep going up and down until herd immunity is developed.
When asked about the outcome of the latest sero-survey (which showed lower prevalence rate of antibodies among people), Kejriwal said the survey was done in a “decentralised” manner and the outcome is related to change in “sample collection method”. He, however, did not elaborate further on this.
The sample collection for the third round of sero-survey conducted in the first five days of September was ward-wise instead of district-wise as in the previous surveys. The samples were also collected according to the places of residence such as whether the participants were living in planned colonies, unauthorised colonies, or slums. The prevalence dipped to 24.8% from the previous 29.1%.
“The dip could have been because of the change in the sample collection method. There are also some reports of the antibody titers (concentrations) going down over time. However, even if antibody levels go down, people are likely to still have innate immunity from the infection with very few cases of re-infection. This means Delhi might develop herd immunity soon,” Dr Mishra said.