Third wave of COVID-19 in Delhi now under control: Arvind Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi is under control now, as the city reported 1,133 fresh cases of the infection at a positivity rate of less than 1.5 per cent.

'There was a time in November when the daily cases went up to nearly 8,600. But, even then it wasn't a panicky situation in Delhi, and 7,000 beds were available. We fought it all together. The fresh cases count today is 1,133, the official report will soon be out,' he told an online briefing.

In a tweet later, the chief minister said, 'With the efforts of the people of Delhi, we have effectively and successfully surpassed the third wave of Corona.' The highest single-day spike in Delhi till date -- 8,593 cases -- was reported on November 11.

The chief minister said the situation in Delhi has improved significantly as the positivity rate had gone up to 15.26 per cent as in early November.

It is now down to 1.3 per cent, one of the lowest so far in Delhi, and nationally too, he said, adding that on November 19, the city recorded 131 COVID-19 deaths, the highest single-day fatality count till date, and now the death count has come down to 37, and it should go down even further.

'It seems, together all of us have brought the third wave of pandemic in Delhi under control,' Kejriwal said, adding the city's recovery rate is over 96 per cent.

The active cases, which were around 45,000 in November, are now down to about 12,000, he added.

'The daily average test count falls in the region of 90,000 in Delhi. Someone had advised us to show improvement in testing figures through fraudulent procedures... Many reports came from other states that fraud testing is taking place. I issued strict orders, and I can say that all our tests figures are genuine,' Kejriwal said.

The chief minister said, 'Every citizen of Delhi stood beside the government and fought this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. I salute corona warriors, frontline workers; thank the Centre, political parties and religious organisations for their support and cooperation.' He also said since there is no vaccine yet, people can't afford to be complacent about the COVID-19 situation here, and advised them to 'still be vigilant, observe safety norms like wearing masks and observing social distancing'.

Speaking on the number of tests, the chief minister claimed, 'Today, Delhi is conducting 4,500 tests per million population in a day. The number of tests per million population is 670 in Uttar Pradesh, 800 in Gujarat, 4,300 in the US and in 4,800 in the UK'.

During this fight against COVID-19, 'Delhi gave various new techniques to the world like home isolation and plasma therapy to fight against the pandemic', he further said.

Delhi was the first to announce Rs one-crore financial assistance to the families of those COVID-19 warriors who died in the line of duty, the chief minister said.

The national capital witnessed the third wave of the pandemic in October. On one hand, the pollution level here was increasing due to stubble burning in the neighbouring states, and on the other, the number of COVID-19 cases also were increasing at that time, he said.

'The citizens of Delhi took the situation very seriously and fought this battle against COVID-19 as a war, and today, I am very happy to say that due to the efforts of the citizens of Delhi, the third wave of Covid pandemic in the capital has also come under control. We can see that the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi is over,' Kejriwal was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Delhi government later.

'In November, there was the day when the number of new COVID-19 cases in Delhi touched nearly 8,600. Not only in India, but also across the globe, this was the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a day from a city,' he said.

'In Delhi, we gave prime importance to testing to detect COVID-19 patients. We increased the number of testing, and I am proud of the doctors, nurses, officials and other Covid warriors, as they worked round-the-clock to ramp up testing. Until August 20, we were conducting 20,000 tests per day. Then the second wave of the pandemic hit Delhi, and we asked the officials to increase the number of testing. Within 10 days, Delhi was conducting 60,000 tests per day,' the chief minister said.

And when the third wave hit Delhi, this was increased to 90,000 to strengthen the fight against COVID-19, he added. PTI KND IJT