Delhi has reported over 6,000 coronavirus cases within 24 hours, for the second consecutive day. The national capital - which has been facing its worst COVID-19 wave since the pandemic hit the country early this year - has logged 6,842 new cases in a day, which is its highest ever tally. On Tuesday, it reported 6,725 cases - its previous single-day record.
Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday, admitted to what experts had been pointing out for several days - a third wave of infections has hit the national capital.
"For some time now, Delhi has seen an increase in the number of the coronavirus cases. We may refer to it as the third wave. We are holding a review meeting tomorrow over this," Chief Minister Kejriwal said today.
Delhi's daily Covid figures had been oscillating in the 4,000-6,000-cases range for the last few weeks, during which it reported record numbers on several days. It, however, breached the 6,000-mark on Tuesday, forcing the Delhi government to admit the third wave.
The surge in cases comes as Delhi appears to be heading for a cold wave. The minimum temperate today dropped to 10 degrees Celsius -- a record low this season.
Along with the mercury, a huge drop has been recorded in the capital's air quality too.
Scientists had warned that low temperature, coupled with increasing pollution levels, could lead to an exponential spike in coronavirus cases in Delhi. Last month, the National Centre for Disease Control had put the figure at upto 15,000 cases a day in the winter.
Another factor that could have contributed to the unprecedented hike in the national capital is the ongoing festive season. Experts had warned that people may drop their guard against the virus while shopping and celebrating festivals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cautioned people against ignoring the anti-Covid norms.
Mr Kejriwal today said authorities are preparing to ensure there is no shortage of hospital beds during any emergencies.
"We are also going to contest in the Supreme Court that high court order on our rule to reserve up to 80% ICU beds reserved (for COVID-19 patients) in private hospitals," he said.