Mumbai: India’s active Covid-19 cases on Friday went up for the first time in 48 days, an indication that the country might be seeing a resurgence of the infection post the festival season. With the onset of winter in northern India, the new infection numbers are expected to go up, experts said.
The number of active cases rose by 491 on Friday; the previous increase was recorded on October 3, when active cases had risen by 2,779. The states that are witnessing new spikes include Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
India on Friday reported a total of 45,882 new confirmed cases and 584 deaths.
Several projections had warned that India could see a new spike of Covid cases if precautionary measures were not followed. A National Covid-19 SuperModel Committee that had declared that India’s peak was over had also predicted that if safety precautions were not followed during the festival season, the total cases in India could go up to 2.6 million per day.
Delhi on Friday reported 7,546 new cases and 98 deaths, the highest by a state during the day. There are reports coming in of a shortage of hospital beds in the capital.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said this week that his administration was trying to increase the number of ICU beds on a “war footing”. But he ruled out any plans of imposing a lockdown.
Kejriwal tweeted on Friday that he met representatives of market associations and “removed their anxieties” on shutting markets in the capital. The associations have assured that they will provide free masks to anyone visiting the shops without wearing one, and ask shops to keep spare masks and hand sanitisers, the CM said. The state will now be going for door-to-door surveillance in search of Covid patients.
Maharashtra, which also witnessed a slight rise in new cases, has decided to keep schools shut till December 21 and is expecting a new spike in cases next month.