Covid: ‘Entire families in hospital after coronavirus surge’

On 14 October, Farah Husain, a critical care specialist in Delhi’s largest Covid-19 hospital, heaved a sigh of relief.

“After a gruelling four months for healthcare workers in dedicated Covid hospitals, India records lowest daily rise in new cases,” she tweeted.

Barely a month later, Dr Husain sounds wistful. “I really thought we were past it. Now we are facing the intensity of a winter surge of coronavirus,” she told me.

Doctors fear that Delhi may well become the epicentre of India’s first wave of winter infections.

The capital has so far added more than 128,000 cases since the beginning of November. On 12 November it recorded 8,593 cases, the highest in a day since the outbreak began. Delhi is now recording more cases a day than any state. Its total case count has exceeded 500,000.

On Wednesday, Delhi reported 131 deaths from Covid-19, the highest single-day toll. More than 8,300 people have died from the infection so far. The testing positivity rate is a worrying 12% and more than three times the national average.