Updated: January 8, 2022 8:44:46 pm
The daily tally of Covid-19 cases crossed the 20,000-mark on Saturday, with the capital reporting 20,181 new cases of the infection. Delhi also scaled up testing further with 1,02,956 tests conducted on Friday as reported in Saturday’s bulletin.
Despite the government pushing up the number of tests, the positivity rate – proportion of total samples that return positive – has continued to increase reaching 19.6% on Saturday. In comparison, when Delhi last saw over 1,00,000 tests being conducted in a day – during a 10-day period in April last year – the positivity rate ranged from 4.9% to 15.9%.
The rise of the positivity rate has also been quite sharp during the current wave of infections. It shot up from less than 1% to 19.6% within 11 days; during the delta variant driven wave in April-May last year, it took 28 days for a similar increase, data shows.
Despite the sharp spike in the cases, the number of hospitalisations has remained low. At present, there are 48,178 active cases in Delhi of which 1,586 are admitted to hospitals. When there were nearly 50,000 active cases during the delta wave, there were over 8,800 persons in hospitals while cases were going up and over 14,000 while cases were on the decline.
“At the moment, 10% beds are occupied in hospitals and 90% are vacant. Around 13,300 beds are still available for patients… There were six-seven times more patients hospitalised when Delhi was reporting similar number of cases last time. Most people are getting a mild disease this time and can recover in home isolation. They can break home isolation after seven days, provided they have not had symptoms for three consecutive days,” said Health Minister Satyendar Jain in a video briefing on Saturday.
The Delhi government ordered an increase of 1,300 beds for Covid-19 patients in 14 of its hospitals, according to an order by deputy secretary (health and family welfare) Ajay Bisht. Of these, 2,075 would be ICU beds. There will also be 2,800 beds in eight Covid health centres for isolation of those who might not have adequate space at home.
As per the bulletin, Delhi also reported seven more deaths due to Covid-19, taking January’s toll to 36. There were only nine deaths in the month of December, seven in the month of November, four in October, and five in September as per the data.
“Almost all of the deaths were in patients who had co-morbid conditions and were admitted to the hospital for other treatments,” said Jain. He added that none of the deaths had been in cases confirmed to be of omicron.
With the cases going up, Delhi government sequences only a proportion of positive cases and not all cases, as was being done till New Year. Delhi reported 48 cases of the new omicron variant on Saturday, taking the total to 513.
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