covid: Experts say Delhi past its Covid peak, advise caution

After an uptick last month, Covid-19 cases in Delhi have started to stabilize, with experts saying the capital may be past its peak for the current wave even as they emphasise the need to be watchful for at least the next two weeks.

Delhi witnessed a spurt in infections last month after a steady decline since February. The positivity rate saw a nearly three-fold rise between April 11 and 18. During the week starting May 2 to the week ending May 7, cases were in the range of 1,300-1,650. But they seem to be stabilizing from the week starting May 9.

Delhi has reported slightly over 1,000 cases this week. On May 10, there were 1,118 cases, 1,032 on May 12 and 899 on Friday. Experts say Covid will continue to circulate and it’s unlikely that the endemicity will arrive anytime soon.

While the country has been reporting a decline in the number of cases, nearly half of them are coming from Delhi.

K Srinath Reddy, President Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), said, “We need to be watchful for at least two weeks.”

The caution comes following the presence of Omicron sub-lineages. “There are sub-lineages of Omicron – mainly the BA.2.12.1 and also the BA.4 and the BA.5 – that seem to have an advantage over the original Omicron variant in terms of how they transmit and in how they evade immunity,” said Gautam Menon, professor of physics and biology at the Ashoka University.

suspects a slow rise in cases over some time, but said there is unlikely to be any sharp increases.

Anurag Agrawal, former director, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, said Delhi might have passed the peak but Covid has not gone away and will continue to circulate. For experts, the response has been low hospitalisation and those reporting with severe symptoms.

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