It is 'third wave' in Delhi, but no need to panic: CM Kejriwal on surge in COVID-19 cases

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) Terming the sudden spike in coronavirus cases in Delhi as the 'third wave' of the pandemic, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday assured the people that there is no need to panic as the AAP government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the city.

Kejriwal said that while there are adequate beds for COVID-19 patients in the city, there is a shortage of ICU beds with ventilators in a few private hospitals which will be addressed in the next one or two days.

The national capital has been witnessing a fresh surge in coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, Delhi recorded over 6,000 fresh COVID-19 cases for the first time.

The city recorded over 5,000 daily cases for five days on the trot, ending Sunday when the count stood at 5,664.

'Delhi has witnessed a jump in the number of COVID-19 cases. I think we can call it a third wave...we have been monitoring the situation continuously and there is no need to panic. We will take whatever steps are needed,' the chief minister told reporters.

He said that during September end and beginning of October, the number of coronavirus cases was less than 3,000 in the city.

On October 6, Kejriwal had said that Delhi is past the peak of the second wave of coronavirus and the situation has been controlled to a large extent.

'Delhi hit the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 on September 17 when 4,500 cases were reported across the city,' he had said.

The national capital had recorded more than 4,000 cases for several days around mid-September.

The AAP government's priority is to give the best treatment and healthcare facilities to COVID-19 patients in Delhi and to keep the death rate as low as possible, Kejriwal said on Wednesday.

He said that a high-level meeting has been called on Thursday to review the COVID-19 situation.

'The Delhi government had increased their numbers (ICU beds in private hospitals) but, unfortunately, the Delhi High Court stayed our decision. We are moving the Supreme Court today to urge it to vacate the stay,' Kejriwal said.

In September, the Delhi High Court had stayed the AAP government's decision to reserve 80 percent ICU beds for coronavirus patients in 33 private hospitals.

On October 29, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said the AAP government had changed its anti-coronavirus strategy by conducting aggressive tracing and testing in the city, citing it as one of the reasons for a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few days.

The 6,725 fresh cases, recorded on Tuesday, came out of the 59,540 tests conducted the previous day.

The previous highest single-day spike -- 5,891 cases -- was recorded on Friday.

Forty-eight new fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,652.

The city recorded 4,001 COVID-19 cases on Monday with the positivity rate hovering around 11 percent.

The Centre had attributed the sudden surge in daily incidences in the last few days to greater movement of people during the festive season and laxity in adhering to safety norms. The active cases tally on Tuesday stood at 36,375. PTI GVS BUN RT