Delhi: Amid coronavirus surge, only 50 people allowed in weddings
The third wave of coronavirus continues unabated in Delhi, with the daily tally almost doubling in just 24 hours. On Monday, the National Capital registered 3,797 fresh cases; the number shot up to 6,396 on Tuesday. 99 patients died of coronavirus-linked complications. As the tally worried residents, the government brought back curbs on weddings, saying that only 50 guests will now be allowed.
Delhi now has 4,95,598 coronavirus cases and the death toll has reached 7,812. In November alone, 1,300 died of COVID-19, with the highest death toll being recorded on November 12 as 104 passed away. The third wave started in late-October and since November first week, the daily number of cases has regularly breached the 5,000-mark. On November 11, 8,593 cases were logged.
Evidently, the National Capital is also struggling to provide hospital beds. 90% of ICU beds with ventilator support and 88% without ventilators are already occupied. The hospitals that have run out of beds include Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital. Dr. YK Misra, a high-ranking official at Manipal Hospital, said he gets 20-30 admission requests daily but can't accommodate them all.
Meanwhile, Delhi's positivity rate is also higher than the national average. For the past two weeks or so, this rate has been over 11%, it even crossed 15% on some days. In September, when the case tally wasn't as alarming, the positivity rate was 6%. Delhi's current spike is steered by the festive season and the life-threatening levels of air pollution.
Facing an uphill task, the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government revised the limit on wedding guests. From now on, 50 people can attend weddings in Delhi. Earlier, 200 were allowed to revel in celebrations, in agreement with the Centre's rules. Just yesterday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he was mulling few changes, which also included shutting "hotspot markets" for a few days.
On the latest decision, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has given the go-ahead. "This was essential as larger the crowd at a place, the more harmful it is. Lockdown won't be imposed but people have to be stopped from gathering in large numbers," he said. Earlier, Health Minister Satyendar Jain also said lockdown won't return.
Naturally, Delhi's coronavirus situation has also derailed the battle of neighboring areas, prompting the Noida administration to scale up testing. From today, commuters from Delhi will be screened randomly at the border, revealed District Magistrate Suhas LY. Teams have also been formed to look into this. The DM, however, underscored that unlike the strict lockdown days there will be no curbs on public movement.
"This rise (in cases) has been due to cross-border infection from areas like Delhi and others. So, random sampling will be done and all institutions (here) will be issued advisory to look out for symptomatic people, track them early and provide them with treatment," Suhas explained.