The daily coronavirus spike in Delhi reached a new high over the last 24 hours on Wednesday, with the city crossing the 8,000-mark and logging 8,593 cases. On Tuesday, health ministry data showed the figure was 7,830 -- the highest at the time. The number of deaths over the last 24 hours was 85 -- the second-highest recorded in the city. The highest till date was 93 deaths, which was recorded on June 16.
The total number of cases in Delhi currently stands at 4,59,975, the number of active cases is 42,629.
The spike in coronavirus cases coincide with the festive season and the huge spurt in pollution with the onset of winter season. Over the last two weeks, the number of infections recorded each day has been on an upward spiral.
On Wednesday the Arvind Kejriwal government was pulled up by the Delhi High Court, which asked the government its action taken over the last two weeks to control the contagion.
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, like allowing 200 people to attend public functions instead of reducing the number and permitting public transport to be fully occupied.
The court said these measures could turn into "super spreaders" of the infection.
The Delhi government said it is increasing the number of Covid tests conducted to help control the spread. One of these methods is "targeted testing" in markets during the festive season.
Both shopkeepers and customers who turn out for festive shopping are being tested. Besides, staff in restaurants and others are also having to undergo RT-PCR tests amid the festive rush.
"Three times more tests are being done now as compared to the last peak," said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain.
Underscoring that the city is witnessing the third peak of coronavirus, the minister added, "We hope that the number of cases will drop in the next couple of days. 17,000 RT-PCR tests were conducted yesterday. We have increased testing".