The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi, which currently stand at 716, may be increased owing to further relaxations under 'Unlock' and doubling of coronavirus tests, officials said on Thursday. COVID-19 tests in Delhi will be doubled to 40,000 per day within a week as there has been a marginal increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said on Wednesday, asserting that aggressive testing and isolation will remain his government's strategy to fight the disease.
The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen from 539 on August 1 to 716 on August 27.
Officials said the rise in the number of containment zones has also been congruent with the increase in cases in the national capital.
Officials in some districts said the number of containment zones may rise with the number of COVID-19 tests getting doubled and further relaxations under unlock.
However, testing is the way to detect and isolate the positive cases to spread the check of coronavirus, they said.
A north east district official said the numbers of containment zones keep on changing frequently since the specifications have been changed.
On Wednesday when the national capital recorded 1,693 cases, the city's highest single-day spike this month so far, taking the tally to over 1.65 lakh, the containment zones were increased to 716.
Wednesday's figure was also the highest single-day spike in the national capital in the last 45 days. As many as 1,781 fresh cases were reported on July 11.
According to data, the number of containment zones had decreased to 496 in the national capital on August 2 and had witnessed a marginal increase to 499 on August 4.
The following days, the number declined to 481 and 466. On August 12, the number of containment zones went past 500. On August 23, the number went past 600 and on August 26, it went past 700, data showed.
On June 26, it was decided to re-map the containment zones to divide those into micro-clusters for better surveillance and contact-tracing.
There were 280 containment zones in Delhi on June 26. On July 20, the number was 696.
In July, the number of containment zones in Delhi was more than 700, but it gradually declined in August owing to the government allowing the "red" zones to be denotified 14 days after the discharge of the last confirmed case, instead of the earlier norm of 28 days.
The number of containment zones was 716 in Delhi on Wednesday, according to a list available on the revenue department's website. The maximum 150 active containment zones is in southwest district, followed by west (92), north (67) and south (60).
All the other districts have less than 50 active containment zones, with New Delhi having the least number of such zones at 18, according to data.
Two to three zones come up daily and almost an equal number are decontained. Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of coronavirus cases since August 1. On August 1, the number of daily cases reported was 1,118 while for the next three days, the number of infections reported in a day stayed below the 1,000-mark.
From August 5 to August 9, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases again stayed above the 1,000-mark, only to come down to 707 on August 10. As many as 1,404 cases were recorded on August 8, the previous highest single-day spike of August.
Three days between August 11 and August 22 saw less than 1,000 fresh cases being reported -- August 13 (956), August 16 (652), and
August 17 (787). Coincidentally, the days on which the number was below 1,000, the number of tests conducted was also less than the average in the national capital, which is 20,000 daily.
The number of active cases in Delhi has also risen from 10,596 on August 1 to 12,520 on August 26.