The COVID-19 positivity rate in Delhi has declined to 10. 58 per cent after rising to nearly 37 per cent, and the average number of cases has also dropped by almost 1,000 over the previous week, indicating a welcome trend, though experts have cautioned the people against lowering their guard. The national capital's recovery rate too has risen significantly crossing 70 per cent, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said. The national recovery rate is 60.81 per cent.
According to a bulletin issued by the Health Department, 2,505 fresh cases were recorded taking the tally to 97,200 on Saturday. With 55 fresh fatalities, the death count now stands at 3,004.
The active cases stand at 25,940. This is for the first time since June 24 that active cases have dropped in the range of 25,000.
"Due to the efforts of Delhi's 2 crore people, the hard work has paid off. Congratulations to all corona warriors for taking the recovery rate of Delhi to over 70 per cent. We all need to work hard to defeat corona," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
Sisodia also took to Twitter to inform that out of 97,200 patients, 68,256 have been cured.
He said that positivity rate, which is the percentage of people who have been found positive out of the total tested for the coronavirus, has dropped to 10.58 per cent. It had risen to 36.94 per cent earlier.
For the seventh consecutive day, Delhi has recorded fresh cases in the range of 2,000.
On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases. The city continued to see over 3,000 fresh cases per day till June 26, when it reported 3,460 infections.
From June 27 to July 4, the average fresh cases per day stands at about 2,495 compared to 3,446 cases per day the week before.
If the trend continues, experts have claimed that the city may go past the COVID-19 peak in early August.
However, they have warned that if social distancing and hygiene norms prescribed by authorities are not adhered to by the people, there could be a surge again.
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said, "If the number of cases in Delhi continues to be static or decreases over the next few weeks, and the decline is at a sustained pace, then we can say that we may pass the peak in August."
"But that can only happen if people continue to maintain social distancing and take prescribed precautions and there is a strict implementation of containment measures even as lockdown measures are eased."
"In some cities there was a decline in trend, but once the lockdown was lifted people did not follow the dos and don'ts and this led to a surge in cases. So, there is no space for complacency. A lapse on someone's part somewhere...could lead to a spike," Dr Guleria said.
Mahesh Verma, head of a Delhi government committee tasked with strengthening the preparedness of hospitals to battle coronavirus, said Delhi would need a fresh forecasting of cases.
"What we are seeing in terms of cases in the last one week is a very positive trend. Things seem to be looking up. We would perhaps need a fresh forecasting, and hopefully we would not need as many beds as earlier projected," he said.
He added that if the trend continues then Delhi could see flattening of the curve in August.
Meanwhile, as Delhi significantly ramped up testing, more than 45 per cent of the over 5.96 lakh COVID-19 tests in Delhi were conducted in the last 16 days, following the use of rapid-antigen methodology in and around containment zones of the national capital.
Rapid-antigen tests started in the city on June 18.
Since then a total of 2,75,396 tests through the-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) and rapid-antigen methods have been conducted in Delhi with around 17,000 tests per day.
A meeting, chaired by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, was held to discuss anti-COVID-19 measures and the implementation of guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the national capital.