Corona situation in India: New Delhi does not expect a fourth wave


Status: 01.11.2021 1:28 p.m.

In the spring, India’s capital New Delhi was hit by a severe corona wave with many dead. Because almost all residents were exposed to the virus, the situation is much better now: Many have made antibodies.

By Peter Hornung, ARD Studio New Delhi

These are scenes that are deeply burned into people’s memories. The ambulances are jammed in front of the hospitals. In it, patients who are breathing hard and who urgently need oxygen. The gates are closed because there is no more space in the outpatient departments and intensive care units. And there is no medical oxygen.

Peter Hornung
ARD Studio New Delhi

Almost with tears in his eyes, a clinic director reports on television: “How do I stand before God when my patients die? I can’t produce oxygen myself. People suffer, we need oxygen. We need help!”

Hundreds of deaths a day, tens of thousands registered new infections: What happened in New Delhi in April and May was simply a disaster. A catastrophe that is unlikely to recur, because as a result of the second wave in spring almost all people in Delhi have antibodies in their blood.

Almost everyone here has antibodies

A few days ago, Delhi’s health minister, Satyendar Jain, was able to announce good figures. Overall, the number of people with antibodies is 97 percent, said the politician. That is the result of a current study, the sixth of its kind, which examines the presence of antibodies against the coronavirus.

Numbers that arouse optimism, but which are basically not surprising, says the doctor Pragya Sharma, who contributed to the study. “We weren’t surprised. We expected that. Firstly, we have had a major vaccination campaign here in Delhi over the past two and a half months,” said Sharma. “And we just had this huge wave of pandemics in April and May. And that’s why we assumed that the antibody levels would be quite high for the next six months.”

Many cases with an asymptomatic course

It is those who have recovered and those who have been vaccinated who will probably still have good protection against the infection for a long time, but there is also a third group: those who have barely or only barely felt an infection.

Sharma explains: “When the capital Delhi had so many symptomatic cases, almost 100 percent of the population was exposed to the virus. And there was a huge number of asymptomatic cases. Because of the huge number of asymptomatic cases and the vaccinations, there are so many people Antibody.”

From Thursday, Diwali, the four-day Hindu festival of lights, will also be celebrated in the 20 million city of Delhi – fireworks and crowds, Corona hardly an issue anymore.

A young man says: “There is no more corona. My body has antibodies against the virus.” “We have to celebrate. We can’t just sit at home,” said a woman from Delhi.

Despite the good numbers: People shouldn’t all be careful, warns Covid expert Sharma. Wear a mask, disinfect your hands, keep your distance.

Nevertheless, she is also optimistic for the next few months. “As far as the present is concerned, this is a very happy situation. We experienced the worst that could have happened here. Practically everyone has been exposed to the virus and has antibodies. And if there is no serious mutation in the virus in the near future, then we do not expect a new wave of pandemics either. “

Optimism in New Delhi – almost all of them have corona antibodies

Peter Hornung, ARD New Delhi, November 1, 2021 12:51 p.m.


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