With the count of daily new coronavirus cases in Delhi fluctuating over the last few days, experts on Thursday said the city will keep witnessing such trends for fairly long and attributed it to behavioural changes among citizens.
The national capital reported 970 COVID-19 cases and one death due to the disease on Wednesday while the positivity rate was at 3.34 per cent.
The day before, Delhi reported 1,118 coronavirus cases and one fatality while the positivity rate was at 4.38 per cent.
On Monday, the city logged 799 cases of the disease and three deaths -- the highest in a day in over two months -- while the positivity rate was at 4.94 per cent.
Delhi had logged 1,422 COVID cases and zero death due to the viral disease on Sunday, while the positivity was at 5.34 per cent.
The city saw 1,407 COVID cases with a positivity rate of 4.72 per cent and two deaths on Saturday.
Eminent epidemiologist Dr Chandrakant Lahariya said these fluctuations in the figures will continue for a fairly long time and it is difficult to predict till when it will continue.
"We saw a rise last month due to the festive season and with people getting voluntarily tested since they had to travel. In my opinion, people were not getting tested earlier, but now, they have started getting tested seeing media reports about the increase in cases. This alteration will continue for fairly long and it also depends on the behaviour of people," he said.
Lahariya also said that in case testing is ramped up from 30,000 to 1,00,000, figures will go up.
"In Delhi, access to testing is higher, and therefore, people are getting tested. The cases are proportionate to testing figures," he added.
Dr Vikas Maurya, director and HOD, Pulmonoloy, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh said the variant which is currently causing infections is Omicron and its sub-variants.
"During January, a lot of people were exposed. People have developed immunity through vaccination and previous exposure. The majority of the patients we are seeing are those who have not reported to have tested positive for coronavirus earlier. Almost 70 to 80 per cent of those who are coming to us through OPDs and through hospital admissions are those who have not had previous history of infection," he added.
Maurya also concurred with Lahariya that the behaviour of the people determines their testing.
"One day people are getting tested and on another day, they are reluctant. This is also causing the fluctuation. I think this will go on for another two-three weeks, and it might be indicative of the fact that we are at the endemic stage. People who are admitted to hospitals are those who are elderly and have co-morbidities. They did not have a good immune response after getting vaccinated, which could explain them getting infected. Among the children, the infections are mild," he said.
Delhi's COVID-19 infection tally has risen to 18,97,141 and the death toll has reached 26,184, according to the latest health bulletin.