Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that the national capital is reporting a “third wave” of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The CM said that the Delhi government would move the Supreme Court (SC) later on Wednesday to vacate the stay imposed by the Delhi high court (HC) on the city administration’s order of reserving 80% of the intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients in 33 private hospitals.
The declaration is significant, as the Delhi government had earlier maintained that it would wait for a week to decide whether a third wave has hit the national capital.
The CM’s statement came after Delhi reported 6,725 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday and the overall tally went past 400,000.
Kejriwal said he would hold a meeting to review Covid-19 management on Thursday.
“I want to inform the public that Delhi is reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases over the past few days. I would call this a third wave of the pandemic in the city because in the end of September and the beginning of October, daily Covid-19 cases had started to drop below 3,000,” Kejriwal told media persons at Hiranki village, where he visited to check the effectiveness of the bio-decomposing process of converting stubble into manure.
The CM also urged the public not to panic and assured that he is closely monitoring the situation.
“At present, there is no scarcity of Covid-19 beds in Delhi. There is no scarcity of any form of health infrastructure in the national capital. It has come to our notice that in big private hospitals, only a few ICU beds with ventilators are lying vacant. The issue will be resolved in a day or two once the SC vacates the stay by the HC,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi government would take a call on Thursday whether firecrackers would be allowed this Diwali, he added. Diwali will be celebrated on November 14.
“The meeting will discuss a gamut of issues such as allowing firecrackers to availability of Covid-19 beds, especially those in ICUs.The meeting is scheduled to be held at 4 pm,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi’s positivity rate on Tuesday stood at 11.29% as fears abound that SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is spreading at an unprecedented rate amid the festive season and growing pollution due to stubble burning in neighbouring agrarian states such as Haryana and Punjab and parts of western Uttar Pradesh (UP) .
Typically, a rising positivity rate suggests an inadequate number of tests.
The Delhi government’s bulletin on Tuesday stated that of the 59,540 swab samples tested in the past 24 hours, 13,560 were reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, which was the lowest RT-PCR sample size in the past three weeks.