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Delhi witnessing COVID-19 “third wave”?

India’s overall COVID-19 metrics are improving across the board. However, Delhi may be witnessing its “third wave” according to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

waving colorful national flag of india on a gray background with text coronavirus covid-19 . concept.. COVID-19 cases in India illustration. Indian COVID-19 cases concept. Cases of COVID-19 crisis in India concept. Image credit: luzitanija / 123rf. Used to illustrate one million deaths due to the pandemic.
Image credit: luzitanija / 123rf

Delhi has seen a rise in cases over the last few days, giving rise to suggestions that the state is facing a third wave of cases. This rise falls against a backdrop of an overall improvement in COVID-19 statistics which, while remaining high, offer a positive outlook going forward.

The air of cautious optimism in part stems from the severity of the situation just a few months prior. As reported by Health Issues India, the daily COVID-19 cases peaked at close to 100,000 in mid-September. These consistent daily figures across the course of the month sparked a worrying trend of gradually-increasing daily figures across the previous months with no signs of abating. However, following a peak on September 16th, these figures began to decrease.

Since the publishing of this article, the trend of gradually decreasing cases nationwide has continued. Latest figures for November 3rd show 46,033 new cases in a single day. This figure is still worryingly high. However, it is important to note that it is less than half that of the peak in mid-September. 

There is also the potential that a vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the virus that causes COVID-19 – may be available in India within the coming months, with the Centre seeming optimistic about the prospect. “We’re expecting that early next year, we should have [a] vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source,” claimed Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

At the time of writing, active cases have fallen below 600,000 — from a peak amounting to more than one million active cases — and have remained at this low point for six days as of November 4th. The total number of recoveries has risen rapidly to 7,656,478 pushing the national recovery rate to over 92 percent according to the Health Ministry.

Such encouraging figures are arguably grounds for cautious optimism, particularly given the fact that the daily recovery rate has eclipsed that of the new daily cases rate. This has resulted in a consistently decreasing active caseload – sustained over the course of several weeks.

However, India is far from being out of the woods. With more than 500,000 active cases, and a precedent for second waves set by countries across Europe as well as in the US, the crisis is by no means over. Caution must still be maintained, alongside proper hygiene procedures and physical distancing measures, in order to maintain India’s ostensible trend towards fewer cases.

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