The trend of rising Covid-19 cases in Delhi continued on Friday as the city reported 431 new infections, the highest single-day rise in over two months, or since January 9, with experts warning that the Capital may be looking at the start of the fourth Covid wave.
The seven-day average of daily cases, also known as the case trajectory, in the Capital has now been rising for 18 straight days – this number has gone from 134 for the week ending on February 22 to 339 in the last week. This means that Delhi is now reporting, on average, 200 more cases every day than what it was less than three weeks ago.
With 72,031 tests conducted, the positivity rate – proportion of samples that test positive among total tested – stood at 0.60%, which was again the highest since January 9.
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To keep new infections in check, Delhi government officials said they are focussing on tracing as many as 30 contacts for every positive case recorded. “We are focussing on aggressive contact tracing. For every case, we are tracing at least 30 contacts and keeping them under surveillance. We are trying to contain the infection before it has a chance to spread again,” said a senior district level official on condition of anonymity.
Only half as many contacts were being traced on average in early-November, when Delhi had witnessed its third surge in the number of infections.
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain had in November said, “If a person tests positive then his entire family and the people in contact have to be tested, thus more cases of Covid-19 were recorded. Earlier six-seven contacts of a positive person were traced, now this number has crossed 15.”
The district official also added that in addition to contact tracing, focus was also on increasing the number of tests and vaccinations.
The Centre on Thursday had said that Delhi-NCR was also becoming one of the regions of concern where Covid-19 was seeing an uptick.
“There is spike in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala too. But there is a difference. The positivity rates in those states are high. In Delhi, the positivity rate has been lower than 1% for more than two months now. The government is prepared in all aspects of Covid-19 management, and we have maintained tests at scaled-up levels,” Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain told reporters outside the Delhi assembly on Friday.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital said, “We need to continue following the Covid-19 norms; there is Holi this month and celebrations should be curtailed to ensure we do not see a surge like after Diwali,” he said.