5.5 lakh COVID-19 cases in Delhi by July 31 unlikely: govt. panel head

Dr. Mahesh Verma   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The head of a Delhi government-appointed committee, which predicted around 5.5 lakh COVID-19 cases in the city by July 31, on Tuesday said that the scenario was “unlikely” considering the current decline in new cases. It is time to do a new forecast for Delhi, Mahesh Verma told The Hindu.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Delhi has seen a decline for three straight days till Monday. However, the new cases increased slightly from 2,084 on Monday to 2,199 on Tuesday.

“It’s unlikely that there will be 5.5 lakh cases by July 31. When we made the prediction the doubling time was around 13 days. We thought that the number of cases will keep increasing exponentially. It is time to forecast again considering the changes,” said Dr. Verma, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.

He said the three-day fall is too short a period to say whether it is a trend and cases would further decrease in the city.

“It is a good sign and I hope this trend continues, but we can’t say anything at this point. We need to watch it for a few more days to call it a pattern,” said Dr. Verma.

Giridhara R. Babu, professor at Indian Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru, also said the number of cases have to be looked at over a period of seven days at least to come to a conclusion.

“In Mumbai, at one point, most cases were from Dharavi and once that started decreasing, many thought that the cases in Mumbai were dipping, but then the numbers picked up in the suburbs,” he said.

Based on the Verma-led committee report, the Delhi government had said on June 9 that 80,000 beds will be required in the city by July 31. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had revised the figure to 1.6 lakh beds.

“Looking at the dip in the new cases over the past week [barring June 26] and also the fact that the number of active cases has increased by only about 1,000 in the same time, I don’t think we would need the number of beds we are creating,” a Delhi government official said.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:10:38 AM |

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