The upward march of Covid in Delhi continued today with the city logging 7,546 fresh cases, up from 7,486 in 24 hours. The number of active cases stands at 43,221, the total has crossed 5.1 lakh in the city that is already choking under the twin afflictions of rising pollution and sliding temperature, that increases vulnerability to the infection.
Over the last 24 hours, 98 more people died. The total number of fatalities in Delhi has crossed the 8,000. On Wednesday evening, 131 deaths were reported — the highest so far in the national capital. The rise, however, is linked to the increased number of cases — the death rate has remained constant at 1.5 per cent to 1.6 per cent over the last several days.
This is the second consecutive day the Covid numbers have again stayed over 7,000 — and a month since the figures had started spiraling. In the days before and after Diwali, the numbers had been low — a fallout of low testing.
The daily Covid spike in Delhi had started climbing since the end of October. On November 3, the city had logged 6,725 cases. Three days later, it crossed the 7,000-mark. On November 11, the city recorded 8,593 new cases, an all-time high.
Today, in a fresh effort to control the infection, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a steep Rs 2,000 fine — up from the current Rs 500 — for those caught without masks.
The number of Intensive Care Unit Beads in the city’s hospitals will also increase. Arrangements are being made for over 1,400 ICU beds, “including 663 in Delhi government hospitals and 750 at Centre-run facilities”, the Chief Minister said.
With the festival season almost over and the wedding season beginning, the government has cut down the number of attendees at weddings and other functions from 200 to 50. Markets that prove hotspots of the virus are also likely to be temporarily shut down.
For the last festival of the season – Chhat Puja, dips in capital’s water bodies has been banned. “Can’t let the people take a dip together, one infected person can infect the water, everybody,” he said.