He said herd immunity had developed in many people and, therefore, new cases were likely to decline in the coming days.
The capital recorded 1,349 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, taking the tally to over 1.25 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 3,690.
Dr Sarin, who is the director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), said the sero-survey conducted on 26,000 people in 83 districts in the country in May, which didn’t include Delhi, showed less than 1% of the population was exposed to the virus. “It seems the disease has spread fast in Delhi. Many people were asymptomatic and, therefore, they couldn’t be picked up in routine testing,” he added.
According to Dr Sumit Ray, head of critical care medicine at Holy Family Hospital, the data is reflective of the ground situation. “New cases have certainly gone down over the past few days. Hospitals aren’t witnessing heavy rush for beds. So, it is possible that in many areas people have develop herd immunity,” he said.
Dr Ray said the ministry should put out details of the survey report in public domain and it should be published in a peer-reviewed journal for scientific analysis.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Monday that Delhi was past its peak, but warned against lowering the guard. “We must continue infection control measures and containment activities to prevent resurgence of cases as has been seen in many cities across the world,” Guleria had said.
Home isolation, increased testing and bed capacity, and plasma therapy have been key to Delhi’s success in fighting Covid-19, said Dr Arun Gupta, the president of Delhi Medical Council. “We are conducting more than 44,000 tests per million, which is among the highest in the country. Also, home isolation and monitoring of patients have helped reduce the panic,” he added.
The effect of decline in new cases of Covid-19 in Delhi is also reflected in the rate of hospital admissions. Data shows 11,958 out of the 15,475 beds reserved for novel coronavirus patients are lying vacant.