The national capital recorded 613 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday and its recovery rate jumped to 88 per cent, but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the people not to be complacent and asked them to take all necessary precautions.
Mr Kejriwal, who claimed that city's virus management model is being discussed around the world, launched a job portal to help people who have lost their livelihood due to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that his government will pass an order to allow street vendors and hawkers to restart their work.
With 613 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, the coronavirus count in the city reached 1,31,219. The death count climbed 3,853 following 26 more fatalities.
However, the decline in fresh cases also coincided with lesser number of tests.
According to Monday's health bulletin, which details information about the fresh cases registered in the last 24 hours, 11,506 tests (7,685-PCR, CBNAAT and True NAAT tests figures; 3821 - Rapid Antigen), the second lowest in July.
The number of tests done per million, as on Monday, was 50,435, it said.
This is for the second time this month that daily fresh cases have gone below 1,000. On July 20, the fresh cases count had dipped to 954, which was also a Sunday.
The active cases tally on Monday was 10,994, down from 11,904 the previous day while the recovery rate stands at 88 per cent. The number of containment zones stood at 716.
Buoyed by the encouraging numbers, Mr Kejriwal said on one hand the cases of coronavirus in the country and across the world are rising exponentially, the figures in Delhi are declining at a consistent rate.
He said the situation has improved significantly due to hard work and prudence of Delhi people.
"The Delhi model is widely discussed and appreciated across the country and the world, that how the people of Delhi came together to fight COVID-19," he said in a virtual briefing.
Around 2-3 per cent people have lost their lives due to COVID. The most important thing is that the deaths due to coronavirus have seen a drastic decline in the last few days, he said.
"Yesterday, there were just 21 deaths, and this figure used to be more than 100 in June. Earlier, a sample testing collection of 100 people showed 35 of them to be positive, which has now come down to only 5 people testing positive. The positivity ratio has also seen a huge decline."
"In June, we were at the 2nd position in terms of Corona cases in Delhi. Today, your Delhi is at the 10th position. When the situation got much worse in June, we did not lose hope," he said.
The chief minister appealed to the people not to be complacent and take precautions like wearing masks, saying nobody knows when the virus may strike again.
On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3947, till date.
Mr Kejriwal said currently there are around 15,500 beds in the hospitals across Delhi, out of which only 2,800 beds are occupied and 12,500 beds remain vacant.
According to the Monday bulletin, out of the total number of beds in COVID hospitals, 12,436 are vacant.
Also, 3,751 beds in COVID care centres are occupied by persons under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights, it said.
On the diagnosis front, lesser number of COVID-19 tests are being conducted on Sundays in the national capital as compared to the rest of the days, data available from the Delhi government''s health bulletin shows.
Officials said one of the major reasons behind the low numbers on Sundays is that many people don't know that the testing centres are open on that day. The health bulletin issued on Monday contained the data of the last 24 hours.
For instance, on July 4, a Saturday, authorities conducted 23,136 tests -- 9,873-PCR tests and 13,263 rapid antigen tests -- and found 2,244 of them positive.
The national capital reported 13,879 tests the next day (Sunday). The number of positive cases also fell sharply to 1,379. On July 6, as many as 22,448 people underwent COVID-19 testing, of which 2,008 were diagnosed with the disease.
Similarly, 12,171 tests were conducted on July 12, the second Sunday of this month, as compared to 21,236 a day before and 21,063 a day later.
The number of positive cases on these days stood at 1,246, 1,573 and 1,606, respectively.
On July 20, the third Sunday, Delhi reported only 11,470 tests as compared to 20,206 a day before and 20,852 a day later.
As many as 954 cases were recorded on Sunday, 1,211 on Saturday and 1,349 on Monday.
"One reason (for less tests) is that people think it is a holiday. So, less people turn out on Sundays," an official said.
Also, a lesser number of testing centres remain open on Sundays in some districts, so the overall testing numbers are low, he said.
Testing was ramped up June 18 onwards, when Delhi started conducting tests through the faster rapid-antigen methodology.
Since then, tests have increased almost threefold -- from an average of around 7,000 a day during June 12-18 to an average of around 20,000 per day at present.
The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown triggered by it have hit both small scale and individual businesses, with street vendors being one of the most affected groups.
"A special order is being passed through which the street vendors and hawkers can restart their work and livelihood in Delhi," Mr Kejriwal said in a virtual press briefing.
Hawkers will be allowed to operate from 10 AM to 8 PM every day, and they will have to ensure social distancing and all other precautionary measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the government said in a statement.
The chief minister launched the portal-- jobs.delhi.gov.in -- and appealed to traders, businessmen, industrialists and people to join hands to revive the city's economy.
"There are people who want jobs and there are traders, businessmen, professionals, contractors who are not getting the right people for their work. This portal will fill this gap by bringing them together on one platform," the chief minister said.
The website attracted a "massive" response in the first six hours after its launch, with 51,403 job-seekers registering. Also, 1,071 employers posted 18,585 vacancies, said a Delhi government statement.