Mumbai, which is the second-most-affected city, has reported 85,724 cases till date, 15,099 less than Delhi.
The number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Delhi, which touched 3,115 on Monday with 48 fresh fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, is significantly lower than Mumbai where 4,938 people have died due to the disease.
On Monday, Delhi’s daily count was recorded below 2,000 with 1,379 more testing positive in 24 hours. The positivity rate, i.e. the number of cases reported among the total samples tested, which had reached 36% in the second week of June, has come down to 10%.
Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India, said the reduction in positivity rate could be due to more testing through the rapid antigen methodology. “It throws up false negatives if the viral load of the patient is very low,” he said. He said Delhi would be considered to be in a more stable position if the daily death rate comes down too.
In the past six days — from July 1 to July 6 — the state health department has reported 347 Covid-19 deaths. On an average, 59 fatalities have been recorded daily. In June, 2,269 fatalities were caused due to Covid-19 in the national capital.
“The decline in new cases is a positive sign, but I think we will have to wait till July-end to assess if the crisis is over,” said Dr S K Sarin, director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences.
Till the second week of June, Delhi was testing only about 5,000 samples daily. This has gone up to over 20,000 now, with rapid antigen testing being conducted in high-risk zones. “There was a time when the daily cases in Delhi had reached close to 4,000. The reduction in new cases by almost 50% in two weeks is a positive sign indeed. We are hopeful that this number will reduce further in the coming days,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, vice-chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, who heads a committee to oversee Covid-19 management in Delhi.
According to the latest data released by the state health department, 72,088 people have recovered from Covid-19. Delhi has only 25,620 active cases — 25% of the total positive cases reported till date — of which 5,520 are requiring hospitalisation. “Most patients are recovering well at home. The panic has reduced and people are more confident about being able to get a bed or getting better even if they contract the disease which is a good sign,” said Dr Verma.
Doctors say that physical distancing, wearing masks at all times when in public and regularly washing hands should continue as it is until a vaccine is found. “If the preventive measures aren’t followed, the infection may surge again,” doctors have warned.