As predicted, on Wednesday Delhi overtook Mumbai to become the region with the country’s largest number of novel Coronavirus cases. Delhi now has over 70,000 cases, of which roughly 40,000 have been detected during the last two weeks. These are around 800 fewer Mumbai has.
Yet it’s doubtful this condition will remain permanent. Delhi’s surge can be attributed to a marked increase in the number of samples tested by the city late, particularly after deploying the recently approved rapid antigen tests, which yield results in just about half an hour. The number of tests in Delhi has risen from around five to seven thousand a day in the last ten days to close to 20,000 on Wednesday.
On the other side, Mumbai performed very small experiments, between 4,000 and 4,500 a day. But Mumbai too, having ordered one lakh fast antigen kits, is now all set for an increased check. Mumbai ‘s case numbers are also expected to go up when these experiments continue to be implemented. There is already some criticism that Mumbai has spread its test net quite thinly, targeting only the primary contacts of the infected and those at the highest risk of infection. The real number of cases in Mumbai may be much higher, but since the results are small, this is not being observed.
Meanwhile, Delhi has also decided to carry out door-to – door monitoring to detect the disease early and minimize the spread. Mumbai has been doing this exercise on a smaller scale for some time, and he’s had some success. Door-to – door screening results in early identification of suspected outbreaks, thus reducing the number of individuals to which the virus can be spread. This exercise could theoretically halt or delay the growth of Delhi events.
Door-to – door surveillance is now expected in Madhya Pradesh as well as starting July 1. The test is part of a fortnight-long program to step up measures to curb the virus’ spread. The disease has also accelerated dramatically in the state. Indeed, Madhya Pradesh is the slowest growing country among major states, with growth rates below 2%.
One city which was lauded for its efforts to monitor the spread of the virus until quite recently is Bengaluru. It had succeeded in avoiding the fate of Delhi , Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai , Hyderabad, Pune or Kolkata. Over the last few days, though, the situation has improved somewhat, but it is better than the other big cities. More than 1,000 new cases have been identified this month in the region, while about 70 people have died. Local officials are now considering a partial shutdown to curb the rise.
In Chandigarh, a weekend shutdown is also being considered, but it is more to do with people who do not follow basic laws of physical distance than any big surge in cases. Chandigarh has only 420 confirmed illnesses, many of which didn’t meet physical distancing rules. Nevertheless, merchants and shopkeepers have resisted any attempt to enforce a weekend lockout. Punjab also follows the pattern of lockout at the weekend.
On Wednesday about 17,000 new cases were reported across the country bringing the overall number of infections above 4.7 lakh, of which about 2.6 lakh have recovered. Close to 15,000 people have died in India so far because of the disease.