Delhi govt likely to increase COVID-19 containment zones due to lockdown relaxations, 'doubling' of testing rate
Officials said the rise in the number of COVID-19 containment zones has been congruent with the increase in cases in the National Capital
New Delhi: The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi, which currently stand at 716, may be increased owing to further relaxations under 'Unlock' and doubling of coronavirus tests, officials said on Thursday.
COVID-19 tests in Delhi will be doubled to 40,000 per day within a week as there has been a marginal increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said on Wednesday, asserting that aggressive testing and isolation will remain his government's strategy to fight the disease.
The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen from 539 on 1 August to 716 on 27 August.
Officials said the rise in the number of containment zones has also been congruent with the increase in cases in the National Capital.
Officials in some districts said the number of containment zones may rise with the number of COVID-19 tests getting doubled and further relaxations under unlock.
However, testing is the way to detect and isolate the positive cases to spread the check of coronavirus, they said.
A northeast district official said the numbers of containment zones keep on changing frequently since the specifications have been changed.
On Wednesday when the National Capital recorded 1,693 cases, the city's highest single-day spike this month so far, taking the tally to over 1.65 lakh, the containment zones were increased to 716.
Wednesday's figure was also the highest single-day spike in Delhi in the last 45 days. As many as 1,781 fresh cases were reported on 11 July.
According to data, the number of containment zones had decreased to 496 in the national capital on 2 August and had witnessed a marginal increase to 499 on 4 August.
The following days, the number declined to 481 and 466. On 12 August, the number of containment zones went past 500. On 23 August, the number went past 600 and on 26 August, it went past 700, data showed.
On 26 June, it was decided to re-map the containment zones to divide those into micro-clusters for better surveillance and contact-tracing. There were 280 containment zones in Delhi on 26 June. On 20 July, the number was 696.
In July, the number of containment zones in Delhi was more than 700, but it gradually declined in August owing to the government allowing the "red" zones to be denotified 14 days after the discharge of the last confirmed case, instead of the earlier norm of 28 days.
The number of containment zones was 716 in Delhi on Wednesday, according to a list available on the revenue department's website. The maximum 150 active containment zones is in southwest district, followed by west (92), north (67) and south (60).
All the other districts have less than 50 active containment zones, with New Delhi having the least number of such zones at 18, according to data.
Two to three zones come up daily and almost an equal number are decontained. Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of coronavirus cases since 1 August.
On 1 August, the number of daily cases reported was 1,118 while for the next three days, the number of infections reported in a day stayed below the 1,000-mark.
From 5 August to 9 August, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases again stayed above the 1,000-mark, only to come down to 707 on 10 August. As many as 1,404 cases were recorded on 8 August, the previous highest single-day spike of August.
Three days between 11 August and 22 August saw less than 1,000 fresh cases being reported — 13 August (956), 16 August (652), and 17 August (787).
Coincidentally, the days on which the number was below 1,000, the number of tests conducted was also less than the average in the national capital, which is 20,000 daily.
The number of active cases in Delhi has also risen from 10,596 on 1 August to 12,520 on 26 August.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has ordered a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast generally cloudy skies with light rain later in the day. The maximum temperature is expected to settle around 33 degrees Celsius
The weather bureau attributed the rainfall to lower-level moisture-laden easterly and southeasterly winds reaching up to Delhi-NCR due to a low-pressure area over the northwest Bay of Bengal and the presence of a Western Disturbance as a trough in mid-troposphere westerlies