New Delhi sees worst wave as India’s cases drop

AP – India’s capital is seeing its worst wave of coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, even as the nation’s overall cases fall.

New Delhi averaged over 5,200 newly confirmed cases a day this past week, the highest this trend has been since the first case was recorded in the capital on March 2.

The Health Ministry attributed the surge in New Delhi to the festival season and warned the situation can worsen due to people crowding markets for festival shopping, coupled with the onset of winters and high air pollution levels in the capital.

India is maintaining an overall decline in new cases, registering 38,310 in the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry also yesterday reported another 490 fatalities, raising the overall death toll to 123,097.

With 8.2 million cases of coronavirus, India is the second worst-hit country behind the United States.

A health worker cuts the strip after taking a nasal sample to test for COVID-19 in New Delhi, India. PHOTO: AP

Meanwhile, authorities in Sri Lanka extended the school holidays for two more weeks, postponing the opening of classes amid a surge of COVID-19 patients from two clusters in Colombo and the capital’s suburbs. Schools had been scheduled to re-open on November 9, but the government announced yesterday that classes would not resume until November 23.

Schools were suddenly closed last month as a precautionary measure after a new cluster of coronavirus infections centred on a garment factory erupted in the densely populated Western province, where the capital is. Another cluster centred on the country’s main fish market arose later.

The two clusters have grown to 7,856 confirmed cases, with 275 in the previous 24 hours. The total caseload for the pandemic stands at 11,335 with 21 deaths from COVID-19.