The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Saturday claimed that the spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital is due to increased testing. It said while the Covid-19 cases are rising, the rate of infection (percentage of people who test positive out of the total people who were tested) has remained low in Delhi.
While the Kejriwal government may attribute the rising Covid numbers to increased testing, what can be a matter of concern is that the city is also seeing a significant rise in the number of Covid containment zones, which is inching towards 1,000.
At present, Delhi has 949 Covid containment zones.
On June 30, Delhi had just 436 containment zones. By July 31, this figure rose to 692, by August 30 to 833 and by September 4 to 949.
A containment zone is an area that is identified to have a high number of Covid-19 positive cases. These zones are identified so that they can be segregated from other parts of the city and movement of people there can be restricted.
Under the Union Home Ministry’s guidelines on unlocking restrictions, all containment zones across the country will continue remaining under a strict lockdown till September 30.
A rise in containment zones in Delhi indicates that the infection is spreading to newer areas.
Delhi’s South West district has the highest number of containment zones (210), followed by North Delhi (127), West Delhi (122) and South Delhi (119).
Meanwhile, asked about the rise in number of containment zones in Delhi, BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “Earlier, the infection rate in Delhi was 5 per cent and it has now increased to 10 per cent. The Delhi government has failed to implement safety protocols related to Covid-19 on ground.”
The BJP leader said the Delhi government must also consider the option of starting ‘weekend lockdown’ like other cities.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the people of Delhi not to panic seeing the rising number of Covid-19 cases. He claimed Covid-19 cases in the national capital are rising because the Delhi government has increased the number of tests.
“We have doubled testing, started testing at markets, bus stands, Mohalla Clinics etc. Test, test, test. Isolate infected people and provide them good treatment. I have told officers not to worry if the numbers increase due to multi-fold testing (sic),” Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet.
In another tweet, the Delhi CM said there are sufficient number of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients. “Presently, there are 14,000 beds available in Delhi, of which only 5,000 are occupied,” he said.
His comments come in the backdrop of a recent spurt in the number of daily cases in Delhi. The spurt comes after weeks of declining trend.
On Friday, Delhi recorded 2,914 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike here in 69 days. This is the fourth successive day in September when over 2,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported in a day.