In the past week, a sharp decline has been reported in cases of corona infection in Delhi, the capital of India.
So, is it supposed that Delhi – which was being called India’s ‘largest corona hotspot’ a few days ago, will flatten the graph of corona infection in the coming days?
Two weeks ago, seeing the pace of infection in Delhi, it seemed that the situation had become uncontrollable.
A total of more than 1 lakh 18 thousand cases have been registered in Delhi so far. Of these, more than 17 thousand cases are currently active and more than 97 thousand people have been cured after infection.
The month of June was very bad for Delhi. Every day a record number of new cases are being filed. The whole country was watching the way cases were increasing in Delhi.
There were labs filled with crowds of COVID-19 test, there were panic and tension in government hospitals. Also, conflicting information was coming out from the statements of the Delhi Government and the Central Government.
But at the end of June, the Delhi government implemented some changes in its strategy. Such as door-to-door health screening and increasing the number of antigen tests. However, the antigen test is considered less reliable than the RT-PCR test.
‘But all these things have shown the effect’ – K Srinath Reddy, Doctor of Public Health Foundation of India, believes this. Dr. Reddy is also a member of the National Covid-19 Task Force.
He told that ‘Testing is going on in Delhi as much as before, but new cases of corona infection have seen a decline.’
1200 to 1600 cases were reported daily this week, which is less than half of what it was in the last week of June. In the last week of June, on average, more than 3000 cases were filed every day.
Whereas in Maharashtra, where there are maximum cases of infection, the rate of infection is still the same.
Tamil Nadu has also been a major hotspot of corona infection in India. There are also new cases coming up, but the pace of appearing new cases has decreased a little before.
But Dr. Reddy is not completely sure about the current situation in Delhi. He says, “It can be interpreted in two ways at the moment. Firstly, the cases in Delhi are coming down and the situation is improving. Secondly, the number of antigen tests that the Delhi government has increased, this The result is that. “
Difference between antigen test and RT-PCR
Antigen testing is fast. Through this, the test results are revealed in a few minutes. While the result of the RT-PCR test takes time and it is also a bit complicated. The important difference between the two is that they look for different parts of the virus as evidence of infection. The antigen test looks for viral proteins whose presence is taken as evidence of infection. But his absence does not mean that the person is not infected.
On the other hand, the RT-PCR test looks for RNA of the virus which is a more reliable indicator. That is why the RT-PCR test is considered a more robust test than an antigen test. The current testing protocol in India requires that all those individuals who are found to be negative in the antigen test should also be tested with RT-PCR kit.
So the question is, how many tests of each type are being done in Delhi? And is everyone being tested again? The data answering them is not publicly available at the moment and this is why some experts feel that the falling speed of new cases of infection in Delhi may be the result of poor testing strategy.
Says Dr. Reddy, “I would like to believe that there has been a decline in new cases of infection as the number of deaths from COVID-19 has also fallen.” The daily number of deaths from COVID-19 in Delhi has started falling after the end of June.
What changed in Delhi?
However, many experts think that deaths due to COVID-19 are not being reported properly and are being told less. “There is no reason to underestimate more deaths now than before,” says Dr. Reddy.
Most experts regard the statistics of deaths from COVID-19 as the second-best scale after the number of confirmed cases of corona infection, given the inconsistency of testing.
Dr. Reddy feels that ‘except for antigen testing, the Delhi government has taken some concrete steps, due to which the pace of new cases of corona infection has come down to some extent’.
He says, “There is more emphasis on public health in Delhi, more homes are being visited, there is a fair amount of testing and public communication is also better”.
According to him, “There has also been a difference in people being alert at the right time. There is a lot of energy in the functioning and the Delhi Government’s coordination with the Center is also better now.”
But they also say that “there has been a big change in the situation, it is too early to say. There is currently a steady decline in the number of new cases being registered and the number of deaths from COVID-19 which is seen as a good sign.
He says that “Delhi government should further improve the process of hospitalization so that the recovery of people is speeded up and they are saved from dying. This creates confidence in the people and the people themselves will see the infection I inform, do not hide it. “
But Delhi is currently seen going out of focus and the focus is now more on other states and cities in the country, where cases of corona infection are now increasing rapidly.
Corona infection is increasing rapidly in the southern states, such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Telangana too has seen a sharp increase in infection cases till recently, but testing in Telangana has been very inconsistent.
The reason for the low speed of new cases of infection in Tamil Nadu may be the strict lockdown there, but the reason for the number of testing is the big reason. The highest testing rate in India is in Tamil Nadu and only the RT-PCR kit is being used for testing COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu.
According to Manoj Murkhekar, director of the National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, “Fever camps were set up in Tamil Nadu during the lockdown. Those who had symptoms and who were suspected to be corona infected were sent to the testing center. , Transport was also provided. It may have helped. But it is too early to say that the transition will start to happen now, or the trend will continue to be so. “
Maharashtra leads to infection and deaths
Maharashtra is still seeing an increase in the number of daily cases. However, the state capital, Mumbai, has started declining gradually. But the surrounding district, such as Thane and Pune or other big cities of the state, is now seeing a spike.
In the case of COVID-19, Dr. Subhash R. Salunkhe, advisor to the Government of Maharashtra, says, “The movement of people after the lockdown was much higher than the government estimated. So the infection increased. But we are more concerned about the deaths of people.”
So far, more than 25,600 people have died due to COVID-19 in India. Of these, more than 11,150 people have died in Maharashtra alone, which is more than any other state. And even now the death toll from COVID-19 is increasing.
After Maharashtra, 3,545 people have died of COVID-19 in Delhi, 2,236 in Tamil Nadu, and 2,089 in Gujarat till Friday evening.
Doctor Subhash Salunke says, “Soon Mumbai will also see a decline in cases of infection. But it is not going to end soon.”