10 days of fewer than 100 daily Covid cases

With 71 cases of Covid-19 reported on Sunday, the number of new daily infections in the district has now remained fewer than 100 for 10 consecutive days — the longest such spate in at least five months. In the week ending January 3, Gurugram reported 442 new cases, it’s lowest seven-day aggregate in at least seven weeks, while reporting just one death (the lowest weekly toll in over two months).

Sunday was also the sixteenth consecutive day that the new daily recoveries outweighed new daily positives, with 105 more recoveries.

Authorities said the prevailing situation has given them a much-needed respite from the mid-November peak, when cases peaked, prompting authorities to increase the reserved bed capacity for Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals, for the first time since May. The continued reductions in mortality and positivity rate are allowing authorities more bandwidth to gear up for the impending vaccine roll-out, health department officials said.

“We are now in the worst of the winter season, which is when we were anticipating another upward spike in cases. Fortunately, that has not happened. To reach the first peak in June, it took us about four months since our first case. The second peak came much quicker, towards August-end. Then by mid-October, the growth rate was showing signs of a third wave. So, if there is going to be a fourth wave, we would have started seeing an indication of it by now,” said Dr Jai Prakash, district surveillance officer, Gurugram.

With fewer active patients to monitor, fewer tests to conduct and decrease in contact tracing, department officials said they have adequate resources to prepare for the impending vaccine roll-out. “In mid-November, we were burdened by the sheer volume of cases, but now that the active caseload is low, we have been able to divert resources where needed, so that health workers were duly registered as beneficiaries, vaccine sites were identified, vaccinators being trained and so on,” Sharma said.

Emphasising the extent of the slowdown in new cases, Sharma cited testing data over the past two weeks. While there has been a 22% dip in the number of samples tested in the last fortnight, the positivity rate (both daily and weekly) has remained between 2% to 2.5%. This is the third consecutive week that the positivity rate has remained below the WHO’s recommended threshold of 5%.

“We have not yet seen such a consistently stable positivity rate in the history of the epidemic in Gurugram. This indicates that the spread is slow enough for our health response to also be stable and organised,” Sharma said.

The total number of active patients in the district stands at 828 (down from 1,059 a week ago). Of these, 742 are currently under home isolation, while 82 are in hospitals. Another four active patients are under observation at district Covid care centres.

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