Capital Delhi records highest virus spike ever

by BERNAMA/ pic by AFP

NEW DELHI – As India recorded nearly 48,000 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the country’s capital New Delhi for the first time saw a record daily spike of over 8,000 new cases, official figures showed.

An update released by the New Delhi government on Wednesday night showed that it recorded 8,593 new cases — the highest for an Indian city, Anadolu Agency reported.

New Delhi has been witnessing a surge in new cases for the last many days, forcing authorities to take additional steps, including banning Chhath Puja — Hindu festival — at public places.

Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava earlier this week said a third spike has now come in New Delhi after the first two spikes in June and September.

Local media reported that New Delhi High Court Wednesday rebuked the local government over the spread of coronavirus in the national capital.

“Observing that a city is now witnessing a bigger daily spike than states like Maharashtra and Kerala, the court asked if the government has any concrete plan to control the situation.

“The court said while other states are imposing restrictions, the Delhi government is relaxing all norms,” local broadcaster NDTV reported.

Meanwhile, India’s drug manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Thursday announced completion of enrollments of Phase 3 clinical trials for Covishield vaccine in the country.

Covishield, developed jointly by the British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca and Oxford University, is going currently under trails in India.

“At present, SII and ICMR are conducting Phase 2/3 clinical trial of COVISHIELD at 15 different centres, across the country. It has completed the enrolment of all 1,600 participants on 31 Oct 2020,” said a statement by the Serum Institute on Thursday.

It also said the institute has already manufactured 40 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Country’s Health Ministry in an update released Thursday morning said 47,905 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total cases to 8.63 million. Another 550 deaths pushed the death toll to 128,121.

India, the second worst-hit country in the world in terms of total cases, has 489,294 active cases while the number of people who have recovered is over 8 million now.