India has reported fewer than 30,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four months, as the recovery rate continues to outpace new infections. However, the situation is expected to get worse in Delhi, despite the capital announcing it had passed the peak of its third wave of infections.
India on Tuesday recorded 29,163 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest since 15 July for daily infections that rocketed past 80,000 cases in September.
There was a sense of relief as the authorities hailed the dip in numbers in the country which has so far reported 8.87 million cases, the world’s second highest tally after the United States.
Across the country, India has now recorded more daily recoveries than new cases for 45 successive days.
Five of India’s 29 states account for nearly half of all the cases but attention was on national capital Delhi, which has registered 489,000 infections and 7,713 deaths.
High recovery rate
"India has continued the unbroken trend of daily recoveries outpacing new infections for the 44th day," the health ministry said in a statement
The government also asserted the rate of recovery among Covid-19 patients had crossed 93 percent in India, where 130,519 people have died so far of the disease.
“Though the country is now past the first peak, the central and state governments are anticipating another surge, possibly more severe, in the coming winter months when respiratory infections rise,” NDTV warned in an online post.
Delhi's third wave 'passed peak'
City Health Minister Satyendar Jain, a Covid survivor, insisted Delhi would soon be safe to visit.
“The first wave came in June, the second in September and the third wave in November is past its peak and now slowly and slowly the numbers will come down,” Jain said in Delhi, where hospitals are on the brink.
But on Tuesday, city Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he planned to enforce new coercive measures in the capital, where over the past week the coronavirus claimed four lives every hour.
“We are sending a proposal to the Centre to give power to the Delhi government to impose lockdown in markets which may emerge as Covid-19 hotspots," Kejriwal said after the government unveiled a far-reaching plan for the city.
Federal authorities plan to airlift doctors to Delhi, enlist retired physicians and bump up current testing by 100 percent, warning the situation was “likely to worsen over next few weeks” in Delhi.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has warned the crisis was “likely to worsen over next few weeks” in Delhi.