For fifth consecutive day, Gurugram sees less than 100 new cases of Covid-19Updated: Jul 31, 2020 23:45 IST
Gurugram on Friday reported 78 new cases of Covid-19, marking the fifth consecutive day of fewer than 100 new cases.
In the last week, for the first time since the outbreak began, the city’s daily growth rate was less than 1%. The doubling rate now is 68 days, as against XX <the lowest> days in XXX <Month>, as per the district health department data. Active cases now make up 10% of the total caseload, as compared to 24% at the end of June.
Health department officials pointed out that the past month has marked a significant turning point for Gurugram in its response to Covid-19. “The mortality data is the biggest evidence. From 91 deaths in June, we saw only 31 deaths in July,” said Dr Jai Prakash Sharma, the IDSP’s district surveillance officer in Gurugram.
As testing and the number of positive cases increased with a concomitant increase in recovery rate, the share of active cases on the total case load too has decreased. By the end of April, active cases comprised a third of the 57 total cases, on May 31, this was 63% of the 774 cases in total.
“These absolute numbers seem small now. But at the time, with limited testing and tracing capacity, our hands were full,” Dr Ram Prakash, district epidemiologist, Gurugram, said. “Throughout April and May, we were bracing for a surge in cases. We knew that the curve is going to bend upward before flattening.”
The surge arrived in the first week of June.
“Between June 5 and June 7, we got over 600 cases, with our biggest daily spikes happening within days of each other. We had begun to record as many as 230 new cases every day,” Prakash said, adding that cases were doubling every seven days by June 11. From 774 cases on May 31, the district recorded added close to 2500 new cases to its tally within just two weeks, touching 3294 reported infections on July 14.
The surge continued over the next four weeks, as evidenced not only by case data but also in the number of deaths that occurred. “Along with a rise in new cases, we saw a rise in mortality rate also, recording over 90 deaths in one month. But Covid-19 symptoms and death occurs a couple of weeks after the infection and not immediately. So we knew that we must have missed some cases earlier, and that if we don’t start doing more testing and trace more people, we will end up seeing even more deaths,” said a doctor with the IDSP in Gurugram, seeking anonymity. Close to 10 deaths recorded in June, they said, were “sudden” deaths where in patients died even before they reached the hospital.
It is at this crucial juncture, officials said, that antigen tests were introduced, allowing the health department to isolate a large number of positives more quickly than they were able to earlier. Around the same time, according to Dr Virender Yadav, district chief medical officer, the health department began to focus on ensuring home isolation where possible. “Because we were able to enforce home care in some areas of Gurugram, it freed up resources to deploy in hotspots. Community participation by citizens, RWAs and civil society groups has been key in making this strategy a success,” Yadav said.
Total cases: 57
Active cases: 19
Recovery rate: 66%
Tests conducted: 5556
Total cases: 774
Active cases: 490
Recovery rate: 36 %
Tests conducted: 13514
Total cases: 5347
Active cases: 1289
Recovery rate: 74%
Tests conducted: 31,037
Total cases: 9067
Active cases: 961
Recovery rate: 86%
Tests conducted: 101803