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Uptick in cases and positivity rate, Jain says Delhi may be past peak but can’t ease restrictions yet

Delhi saw a downturn in the number of cases over the last four days. Significantly, it had been accompanied by a decline in the positivity rate from the high 30.64% recorded on January 14 and 15.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 20, 2022 7:57:49 am
Delhi Covid, Delhi Covid case, Delhi Covid news, Satyendar Jain, Satyendar Jain news, Delhi news, Delhi city news, New Delhi, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsDelhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain meanwhile said it was not time to ease restrictions. (File)

Delhi reported a slight increase in the number of Covid cases over the previous day with 13,785 fresh cases reported on Wednesday, according to the daily health bulletin. Not only was there an increase in the absolute number of cases with more tests conducted, the positivity rate – proportion of samples tested that return positive – also increased by 1.39 percentage points to 23.86%. This means just short of one in four samples tested were found to have the infection.

The capital saw a downturn in the number of cases — mostly owing to the change in testing policy that led to fewer asymptomatic samples being tested – over the last four days. Significantly, it had been accompanied by a decline in the positivity rate from the high 30.64% recorded on January 14 and 15.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain meanwhile said it was not time to ease restrictions. “The numbers have come down to 22-24% from 30%; it has reduced but it is not so low that we can open up everything. Hopefully, the numbers will decline as fast as it went up. But, we have to wait and watch.”

Delhi also reported 35 deaths with the infection, taking January’s toll to 353, as per the data. The increase in the number of cases and deaths were driven by the new omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 causing infections even in those who have been vaccinated and have been exposed to the infection in the past. Doctors, however, state that almost all of the deaths were in extremely sick patients receiving treatment for disease such as cancers, chronic kidney and liver diseases.

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There were 57,776 tests conducted in the capital on Tuesday as reported a day later in Wednesday’s bulletin. Although the number is higher than the previous day, the number has dropped from the peak of 105,102 during the current surge.

Jain said in an online briefing, “There has been a change in the guidelines from the Centre which states that only symptomatic and high risk people should be tested. But, no one is being refused testing in Delhi centres, which is why we have been maintaining around 50,000 tests even when cases were low.”

The minister also said that the bed occupancy continues to remain low. There were 2,734 persons in city hospitals as per Wednesday’s bulletin, of whom 147 were on ventilator and 761 on oxygen support. “In the last week, daily admissions are not increasing… It looks like we are past the peak. We have released just over 15,000 of the 37,000 planned Covid-19 beds and only 17% occupied, which means for every bed occupied there are five empty beds,” said Jain.

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