Delhi reported 3,609 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday — the highest single-day spike in the last 78 days — and 19 deaths. The total case count now stands at 1,97,135 and the death toll at 4,618. With an uptick in daily cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal plans to reach out to the public through radio, TV, outdoor hoardings and digital spaces, requesting them to wear masks and follow social distancing.
According to government sources, aggressive testing as well as negligence by people is behind the rise in cases over the last few days.
“We shouldn’t be complacent and let it spread further under any circumstances. For the last few days, some people have become a little careless — they have stopped wearing masks or following social distancing. I am your brother, your son, you have treated me as a part of your family. I don’t want anyone in my family to fall ill. It is a very serious disease. So, I am asking you today to swear that whenever you go out of the house, you will wear a mask and follow social distancing,” said Kejriwal.
The message will also guide people to go for testing, if the need arises, said sources.
On the rising number of cases in the city, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said: “There was a time when the city’s positivity rate was more than 20%. But these days, it is hovering around 10%. The numbers can go up but our aim is to aggressively test as many people as we can. It will help us to test, track, and isolate each case in Delhi.”
The highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases was recorded on June 23. As of September 8, the cumulative positivity rate stands at 10.66%. Tuesday also saw the highest testing figures in a day, with 45,797 tests (RT-PCR and rapid antigen) carried out. This is the first time that the city has moved beyond the target set by Kejriwal of conducting 40,000 tests in a day.
To boost testing, the CM Tuesday announced that a doctor’s prescription will no longer be needed for a Covid test via RT-PCR. The announcement came hours after the Delhi High Court ordered the state health department to allow testing of any individual without asking for a prescription.
However, labs are awaiting an official government order on the same. At present, no private lab in Delhi is authorised to test any patient without a doctor’s prescription.
On September 4, the ICMR had issued a revised testing strategy in which it had advised testing on demand for all individuals who are willing to get tested.
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