For the second day in a row, Delhi saw over 5,000 daily cases of Covid-19 while the positivity rate — percentage of people who test positive for the disease versus those who were tested — neared 10%on Thursday.
As per the daily health bulletin, 5,739 fresh cases were reported – the highest single-day spike so far – taking the total number of infections to 3,75,753. The positivity rate touched 9.55% with 60,124 people tested in the last 24 hours. With 27 more fatalities, the death toll rose to 6,423.
With the city witnessing an uptick in the number of cases, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the government has changed its strategy and is carrying out “aggressive tracing and testing” of people who have come in contact with positive patients.
“Entire families, close contacts of positive cases, even asymptomatic ones, are being tested. RT-PCR tests have also been scaled up,” said Jain on Thursday. He also said it would be too early to say if the surge corresponded to a “third wave”.
A high-level expert committee led by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul had suggested that Delhi may see 15,000 daily cases as a result of winter illnesses and festival season in the coming months. On this projection, Jain said, “Figures have been projected by experts on surge in daily Covid-19 cases, but it may not reach that level. However, we want to be full prepared.”
Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status of Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, Kerala and Delhi. During the meeting with senior Delhi officials, it was stated that there has been a nearly 46% increase in new cases over the past four weeks, while the positivity rate in the same period has shot up by nearly 9%.
The rising cases were attributed by the Delhi team to social gatherings during festivities, deteriorating air quality, increasing incidences of respiratory disorders, and clusters of positive cases at work places. Fatigue among frontline workers was also discussed.
“The UT (union territory) was advised to aggressively ramp up testing, increase RT-PCR tests, focus on contact tracing and effectively enforce isolation of traced contacts within the first 72 hours. It was advised to focus on containment zones and implement strict perimeter control, as per MHA guidelines. Health authorities were advised to give additional thrust to IEC practices and proactively promote wearing of masks and other Covid appropriate behaviours,” a statement from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated.
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