After a brief lull of two weeks, Covid-19 cases in the city have begun to increase again, with 4,116 cases being recorded on Saturday, taking the tally to 3,52,520.
A week ago, the positivity rate — percentage of people who test positive for the disease versus those who were tested — had dipped to 5.6% for the week. With a sudden increase in cases, it increased to 6.8% on Friday and 7.4% on Saturday.
Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal, meanwhile, said the Covid-19 vaccine should be made available throughout the country for free, when available. His comments came after the BJP promised free vaccination in its manifesto for Bihar polls. “The whole country should get the Covid-19 vaccine for free. It is the right of all citizens. Everyone is troubled because of the virus,” he told reporters after inaugurating two flyovers in Northeast Delhi.
So far, in Delhi, 6,225 people have died of Covid-19, 36 of them on Saturday.
Experts have been warning of a sudden spike as the festive season starts. “Several meetings have been held with the CM as well as the L-G, where the need to be a little strict during the festive season has been discussed. People are getting tired of staying at home. Many have not met family members for a long time and the wedding season is also about to start. As soon as Navratri started around a week ago, crowds in markets increased, and now cases have followed. If social distancing norms are not followed and if people don’t wear masks, over the next month cases are expected to rise till Diwali,” said a senior Delhi government official.
There has been a slight increase in the cumulative seven-day growth in the number of cases. While it stood at 0.96% in the week ending October 17, it rose slightly to 1.05% by Saturday. “This is a small increase but the coming week is crucial. People usually start contracting the disease and displaying symptoms after the fifth day of exposure. We have been asked to make sure there is no shortage of beds, as pollution is expected to lead to more severe symptoms,” the official said.
Delhi is conducting an average of about 54,000 tests daily, among the highest in the country.
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