Monday, August 8, 2022

Stricter lockdown and declining positivity rate: Is Delhi under control?

As chief minister Arvind Kejriwal extended the lockdown for another week, Delhi reported 13,336 new cases of Covid 19, bringing the total number of cases to 1,323,567. The daily death toll in the national capital dropped below 300 on Sunday, with 273 deaths. So far, the virus has claimed the lives of 19,344 individuals.

The average weekly test positivity rate in Delhi has now fallen by at least five percentage points in the last week, providing a much-needed ray of light at a time when the Capital’s administration and citizens are fighting the Covid’s second wave.

On Sunday, the positivity figure – the percentage of samples that test positive out of all those tested – fell to 21.67%, down from 35% last month. The positivity rate in the national capital peaked at over 35% two weeks ago on April 26, but has since steadily declined.

Data reveals that the first signs of improvement (with the positivity levels and, as a result, cases plateauing) for Delhi began to occur about two weeks after the city was put under lockdown. The number of active cases in Delhi fell marginally to 86,232 on Sunday, down from 87,907 the day before.

Read More: As India battles second wave of Covid and shortage of hospital beds, several states impose lockdown, curfews

According to CM Kejriwal, “the tighter the lockdown, the better we will be able to control the virus.” Experts said the decision seemed to have helped contain the virus’ spread, but they cautioned that lifting restrictions on social movement too soon could restart the infection’s spread.

To be sure, even at 21.67%, the current average positivity rate in Delhi is more than four times the WHO’s suggested 5 percent threshold for declaring Covid-19 infections under control in a given region.

Furthermore, CM Kejriwal announced earlier this week that the national capital’s medical oxygen crisis is under control, and he directed officials to ensure that no lives are lost due to lack of oxygen. He also mentioned that the Delhi government plans to finish the COVID vaccination drive within 3 months.

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