NEW DELHI: CM Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday that the surge in Covid-19 cases in Delhi in the third week of this month was the second wave in the city and had, perhaps, already hit the peak. He said experts feel that the number of cases will be declining in the coming days though his government had its fingers crossed.

His remarks came on a day when 3,834 cases and 36 deaths were reported. The number of containment zones too breached the 2,000 mark. The Delhi government’s health bulletin on Thursday revealed that the number of containment zones stood at an all-time high of 2,059 as against 894 on September 1.
Containment zones go up from 550 in mid-August to over 2,000
District officials said the number of cases was rising due to aggressive testing, leading to creation of more containment zones. According to Thursday’s health bulletin, 59,183 tests were carried out and the positivity rate was 6.4%, well below the national average. Officials said they were creating micro containment zones now which had resulted in the total number of such zones showing a sharp increase.
“Experts believe that the second wave which has hit Delhi seems to have perhaps reached its peak. It will decline in the days to come,” said the chief minister, speaking to reporters after visiting Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
Kejriwal pointed out that the government had increased the number of containment zones from 550 in the middle of August to over 2,000 now and hoped that this expansion would help in bringing down the number of positive cases.
The CM said coronavirus cases were by and large under control in the capital between July 1 and August 17 when the city was reporting 1,100 to 1,200 cases on an average daily. “The cases started going up from August 17. As a responsible government, we did not take any risk and immediately scaled up testing,” he said, adding that the daily tests were increased from around 20,000 to 60,000.
Kejriwal said aggressive testing and isolation of positive cases were the most effective way of defeating Covid-19. Had the government scaled down the daily tests to the previous level of 20000, cases would have come down to around 1500 daily, he said.
Out of the total 2,059 containment zones at present, 1,612 are active. This means these zones have live cases while the others don’t have any but have still not been declassified according to the protocol that has been laid down. On September 1, there were 699 active containment zones in the city.
South West district, which is spread over a huge area, has 341 containment zones at present, the highest in Delhi. It has also till date seen the highest number of containment zones –610. The areas that have a large number of containment zones include Raj Nagar, Mahavir Enclave and Mohan Garden, apart from some areas in Najafgarh, Dwarka and Uttam Nagar.
West district has the second highest number of red zones –234. The increase, however, has been sharp in case of North West, New Delhi, North East, South East and Central districts.
North West district, which has a population of around 37 lakh according to the 2011 census, has seen an almost eightfold rise in the number of Covid-19 cases this month. On September 1, the district had 29 containment zones and by September 23, the number had risen to 229. The areas that have seen a large number of containment zones being created this month include some sectors of Rohini and blocks of Ashok Vihar, Pitampura and Budh Vihar.
“The containment zones in North West district were earlier spread over a much bigger area and it was realised that this could lead to more positive cases. Creation of micro containment zones helps not only in more efficient management but reduces the spread,” said a district official.
“The strategy was changed and the number of containment zones were increased by creating some very small ones. “Initially, the number of active cases here was 20% which has now increased to 24%, which is at par with other districts,” he said. “Also, testing has become much more aggressive now compared to last month,” he said.
New Delhi district, which had 40 containment zones at the beginning of the month, has seen the number go up 164. The most affected areas are different sectors of RK Puram and Vasant Kunj, apart from Naraina and Munirka.
North East district, which has the lowest number of containment zones – 72 – has also seen a three-fold increase from September 1, when the figure was 19.
“Extensive testing is resulting in more positive cases being detected, and whenever we see clustering of cases happening in any area, we create a containment zone. With many migrants coming back to Delhi and more offices and businesses opening, it is natural that there would be a rise in cases,” said another district official.



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