New Delhi, June 28: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia withdrew his earlier estimate of upto 5.5 lakh cases in Delhi by July-end, claiming that the situation is certainly improving. His remarks came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah blamed Sisodia's comments for stoking "panic and fear" among the national capital residents.

Sisodia, earlier this month, warned of a severe crisis that could plague Delhi as the infection rate soared higher than all other parts of India. With the infection ate then hovering above 6 percent, the Deputy CM cited experts to claim that the Delhi-wide toll of COVID-19 cases would jump to 5.5 lakh by end of the next month.

"We are hopeful that situation will improve in the coming weeks and will certainly not be as bleak as it looked in first week of June when domain experts predicted 5.5 lakh cases in Delhi by 31st July," Sisodia said in a press briefing on Sunday.

"Last week saw things stabilising-recovery rate has increased to 62%, today more patients are recovering in Delhi than those who are falling ill, number of deaths are coming down, positivity rate is decreasing rapidly," the Deputy CM added.

Update by ANI

Shah, in an interview with news agency ANI that was released earlier today, categorically dismissed the prediction that COVID-19 count would reach 5.5 lakh in Delhi. "I am sure we will not reach that stage," he said.

"After Delhi Deputy CM made a statement that by July 31 we will have 5.5 lakh coronavirus cases in Delhi...there was panic. I am sure now we will not reach that stage and will be in a much better situation because we stressed preventive measures," the Home Minister added.

The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi, as per the last update issued by the Health Department, reached 80,188. The numbers include 28,329 active cases, whereas, 49,301 patients were discharged after recovery. The death toll stands at 2,558.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 28, 2020 08:12 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website