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Delhi: Covid cases, positivity rate continue to rise, experts flag festive season spike; eye on new variants too

For the fifth consecutive day the positivity rate remained over 1%. On Wednesday, the positivity rate stood at 1.52% after testing 82,331 people.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: March 25, 2021 10:46:41 am
Health experts across the city have warned of resurgence in cases during the festive season. The Delhi government Tuesday said random testing for Covid-19 will be held across the city’s airports, railway and bus stations. (File)

As many as 1,254 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Delhi on Wednesday, the highest single-day spike in over three months, and six people died due to the virus, taking the death toll to 10,973. The last time the cases were this high was on December 18, when the city had recorded 1,418 cases.

For the fifth consecutive day the positivity rate remained over 1%. On Wednesday, the positivity rate stood at 1.52% after testing 82,331 people. The total number of Covid-19 infections recorded are 6,51,227, out of which 6,35,364 patients have recovered. There are 4,890 active cases as of now.

Health experts across the city have warned of resurgence in cases during the festive season. The Delhi government Tuesday said random testing for Covid-19 will be held across the city’s airports, railway and bus stations. It has also restricted public celebration of upcoming festivals of Holi, Shab-e-Barat and Navratri.

Dr Jugal Kishore, head of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital, said, “People should not let their guard down. The virus is still there and we should continue following Covid-appropriate behaviour. While mortality rate is not high, it is crucial to monitor the new cases and positivity rate.”

A new “double mutant variant” of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Delhi, Maharashtra and some other places in addition to the three “variants of concern” — first noticed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil — that have been found in at least 18 states and union territories, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

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The ministry, however, said it could not be sufficiently established yet if these variants were behind the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in some states. As per data shared by the Ministry on Tuesday, there are 69 cases of established variants in Delhi, out of which 65 are of the UK strain, while four are of the South African variant.

“Till now no linkage has been established to say that the surge that we are seeing in different states is directly because of only mutations. There are various reasons behind a surge. States having a larger pool of susceptible population are prone to witness rise in cases. Whenever the susceptible population will lower their guard and not follow Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, they will get the infection, be it the normal virus or the mutants,” said Dr S K Singh, chief of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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