COVID-19 tally may not reach 5.5 lakh by July end, but need to see how virus behaves in monsoon: Verma

New Delhi, July 1

The COVID-19 tally in the city may not reach the estimated number of 5.5 lakh cases by July end but one needs to see how the virus behaves during the monsoon, Mahesh Verma, head of a Delhi Government committee tasked with strengthening the preparedness of hospitals to battle coronavirus, said on Wednesday.

Verma, however, said before making a new forecast, the number of cases should be monitored over the next couple of days.

Verma is part of a five-member committee that was constituted by the Delhi Government last month for healthcare infrastructure augmentation and strengthening of overall preparedness of hospitals to battle COVID-19.

The committee had said that the national capital would see one lakh cases by June end and 5.5 lakh cases by July end.

Verma said based on the current scenario, it looks unlikely that Delhi will see 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July.

“But now monsoon is round the corner. We do not know how the virus will behave since it is a new virus. Earlier, we would say it would go away in summer but it never went away.

“Monsoon is also a season for viral diseases. We do not know whether the viral load for those diseases will compound coronavirus. Let us wait for a few days to see whether it is a temporary decline or whether there will be any surge,” he said.      

According to Delhi Government’s health bulletin figures, between June 13 to 27, there were seven days on which over 3,000 cases was reported.

However, after June 27, there was a decline in the number of cases reported on a single day. On June 29, 2,084 cases were reported within 24 hours. The next day, the number was 2,199.

“It is only three-four days since there has been a decline. We have to keep a watch over the numbers for another couple of days and then only we can forecast. We were expecting almost one lakh cases by the end of June but we have added about 65,000 cases. A new pattern is emerging,” Verma said.

Verma, who is also the vice-chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, said due to the surge, everyone became more proactive and there was increased testing, which contributed to the general management of cases.

As the numbers witnessed a sharp ascend, Delhi has significantly ramped up testing, mostly after the Rapid Antigen methodology was permitted.

He also said everyone, be it from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Delhi Government to the municipalities, chipped in, which was also responsible for the results. He added the serological survey, which started last Saturday, will show some results. PTI


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