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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Delhi logs over 20,000 new Covid-19 cases; TPR remains at 30.64%

The positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive – remained the same as the previous day at 30.64 per cent.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 16, 2022 9:39:45 am
A health worker collects swab sample of an air traveller for Covid-19 test, at T-3 terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Delhi on Saturday reported 20,718 fresh Covid-19 cases, nearly 4,000 less than the previous day’s tally, according to the Delhi state health bulletin. The decline in the number of cases, however, was driven by fewer tests being conducted after the new ICMR guidelines did away with testing on demand.

The positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive – remained the same as the previous day at 30.64 per cent. This, however, is less than the positivity rate of over 36 per cent seen during the delta variant-driven wave of infections in April-May last year.

The number of tests conducted dropped further on Saturday with a total of 67,624 tests of which 20 per cent were the less accurate rapid antigen tests. There were over 79,500 tests conducted on Friday, over 98,800 tests on Thursday, and over 105,000 tests on Wednesday. Officials said that the government sample collection has dropped two-thirds since the new guidelines as people cannot test on demand without symptoms and only high-risk contacts of positive cases are tested, and asymptomatic persons do not need to get tested before surgeries and procedures.

There has also been a dip in the number of deaths being reported from hospitals coinciding with the change in the testing guidelines. Delhi on Saturday reported 30 deaths, pushing January’s total toll over 200 adding up to 228 deaths. There were 40 deaths reported on Wednesday alone.

In most deaths during the current wave, Covid-19 was an incidental finding when patients came in for the treatment of other conditions. With the new testing guidelines stating that no test is needed for asymptomatic patients (not having Covid-like symptoms) undergoing procedures or delivering a baby, these numbers have also reduced.

Usually, the decline in the number of deaths follows the decline in the number of cases by a week or two. There were nine deaths in the entire month of December, seven in November, four in October, and five in September.

With the dip in the absolute number of cases over the last two days, the number of active cases saw a decline on Saturday. There are 93,407 active Covid infections in Delhi. Of them, 2,620 persons have been hospitalised. The number of patients on ventilators crossed the 100-mark for the first time during the current wave on Saturday, with 113 persons needing the support. There are 774 persons on oxygen support. In comparison, at the peak of the previous wave there were over 5,700 persons in intensive care units across the city.

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