Delhi reported a steep rise in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases on Sunday, adding 23 new infections of SARS-CoV-2 that took the Capital’s tally to 72 from 49 a day earlier, according to data released by the Delhi health department.
Among the new cases, officials were not immediately able to established the source of the infection for six Covid-19 patients — they did not appear to have a known history of foreign travel or direct contact with another confirmed patient.
Experts have raised concerns over possible signs of the Covid-19 outbreak entering the community transmission phase, when the source of an infection can’t be traced. Officials have, however, denied that the outbreak has entered the next stage.
“The reports of these people who tested positive have just come to us and our teams are right now in the field trying to trace their contacts. At the moment, we do not know the source of infection in six cases. Now we have many labs in the city testing people but they do not necessarily collect history,” said an official from the state disease surveillance programme.
Thirteen of the remaining fresh cases were traced to recent foreign travel history, while four others were linked to direct contact with another infected person.
The six people whose infections could not be traced to their source recently came to Delhi from Andaman to attend a religious function. There are nine positive cases in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “They had come to Nizamuddin Dargah [Delhi]. They only had history of travel from Andaman, no history of foreign travel,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Among the total cases in Delhi — two patients died of the disease — five have been discharged and one has migrated out of the country, the Delhi health department said.
Some of the other patients who tested positive on Sunday were in Okhla, Kotla Mubarakpur, Gonda, Sangam Vihar, Nizamuddin West, Ghitorni, Shahpur , Vasant Kunj, and Khichripur. The total number of samples sent for testing from Delhi now stands at 2,049 and reports for 1,680 have been received, the department said.