It can’t be said that Delhi is witnessing a second wave of COVID-19, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday, a day after the national capital recorded 2,509 fresh cases — the highest single-day spike in nearly two months.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, he said people “should not stress about numbers”.
After a brief lull, Delhi has seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases over the last few days.
Wednesday’s 2,509 fresh cases pushed the city’s tally to 1,79,569, while 19 more fatalities took the toll to 4,481, according to authorities.
Asked if Delhi is heading towards a second wave of coronavirus infections, Jain said, “You cannot say it is a second wave. We could have called it a second wave if there were no positive cases for one or two months and then cases would have started coming again. The virus is still there in Delhi. You should not stress about numbers.”
He said Delhi’s case fatality ratio was 0.75 per cent on Wednesday, which is a good sign.
“Overall, it is 2.5 per cent. Yesterday, it was less than one per cent, which is a good sign. At one time, it was 3.5 per cent,” he added.
Jain said the Delhi government is working to increase testing for COVID-19.
“We are increasing (the number of) tests. We are emphasising on testing and working aggressively on it. Yesterday, the number was around 30,000 and today the number of tests will be around 35,000. If a case is isolated at home or hospital, he won’t be able to infect 10 people. We want that not one positive case should be there,” he said.
Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that his government will double COVID-19 tests from 20,000 to 40,000. On Wednesday, a total of 28,835 tests were conducted, the maximum since March.
On certain private hospitals in Delhi facing a shortage of ICU beds, Jain said over 70 per cent of the 14,000 beds allocated for COVID-19 in the city are vacant.
“We asked five to six hospitals and learnt that 70 to 80 per cent of patients there are from outside Delhi. There might be issues in some hospitals but there is no shortage of beds,” he said.
Jain also said the government is formulating protocols for travelling in the Delhi Metro, which will resume from September 7 after a hiatus of over five months.
“A dry run is also being conducted so that it can be ensured that people wear masks, clean their hands, follow social distancing norms and a COVID-19 appropriate behaviour,” he said.
The Delhi Metro will resume services in three stages between September 7 and 12, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Trains will be available from 7-11 AM and 4-8 PM, it said.
Metro services in Delhi-NCR were suspended on March 22 in view of the pandemic.