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Some relief as several cities witness fall in COVID-19 cases

A healthcare worker collects a test swab sample from a child amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a testing centre inside a hospital in New Delhi, India, January 14, 2022. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

COVID-19 cases have dropped dramatically in India’s capital Delhi and financial hub Mumbai in the last two days, with the majority of individuals who got the virus recovering at home, officials said on Monday.

The news: After reaching an all-time high of 20,971 on Jan. 7, Mumbai’s daily new infections fell below 10,000 on Sunday for the first time since early this month. Mumbai’s municipal corporation recorded 7,895 infections late Sunday.

What’s happening: The number of cases in Delhi has been steadily declining since peaking at 28,867 on January 13 and is anticipated to fall below 15,000 on Monday for the first time since early January, according to the city government’s health minister.

  • Since the fast-transmitting Omicron variety caused a large rise in cases at the start of the year, more than 80% of COVID-19 hospital beds in both cities have remained empty.

What they’re saying: “It is impossible to pinpoint a peak by new instances because there are so many sub-clinical, asymptomatic, and undiscovered cases,” Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote in an email.

  • “In this situation, monitoring hospitalisation is more prudent; today’s case can be next week’s hospitalisation.”
  • According to some experts, a national peak in cases could occur in early or mid-February.
  • The low hospitalizations have been linked by experts to high levels of previous infections and

In addition: India has vaccinated around 70% of its 939 million people and aims to vaccinate another 70 million or so teenagers by the end of the month.

  • The government has encouraged states to test only those who have COVID-19 symptoms instead of random screenings, as was done previously, which strained resources, particularly during the last large wave in April and May, when millions were infected and tens of thousands died.
  • The number of COVID-19 infections in India increased by 258,089 in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry, bringing the total to 37.38 million, second highest in the world behind the United States.

The death toll jumped by 385, or roughly 40%, due to a delay in documenting prior fatalities in Kerala’s southern state, bringing the total to 486,451. Only the US and Brazil have reported more COVID-19 deaths in total.

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