Close to 33% of those tested in the city as part of the September sero survey had developed Covid-19 antibodies, The Indian Express has learnt. The findings of the third survey will be presented to the Delhi High Court Wednesday.
The presence of antibodies indicates the individual has been exposed to the virus in the past. In the last sero survey, this figure was 29.1%. “The results show that only about a third of the population has been exposed to the virus so far and that precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks must be observed keenly to limit the spread of infection,” said a senior Delhi government official.
On Tuesday, meanwhile, 48 people succumbed to the disease. This is the highest toll since July 8. Over the past 10 days, the case fatality ratio has been 1.12% — up from 0.94% (10 day average) till a few days ago.
The sudden increase in deaths has health department officials worried, as for the past several weeks, they have been asked to focus on deaths instead of the overall Covid count. “After observing the behaviour of the virus for two months, we realised we cannot completely stop people from getting infected and we will have to learn to live with Covid. The focus then shifted to managing the number of deaths and we saw immediate results. Over the past week, however, as the number of reported cases has gone up due to increased tests, case fatality ratio has also increased. This is a matter of concern and we are holding meetings to see what we can do to decrease this rate,” said a senior government official.
The city’s overall fatality ratio is 1.93% at present, with 5,320 out of 2,76,325 people who have tested positive succumbing to the virus since March. On Tuesday, 3,227 people tested positive out of over 59,100 samples picked. As the number of tests conducted in Delhi has increased over the past month, the number of daily cases has also increased. Over the past week, positivity rate has been in the 6%-7% range. The overall positivity rate since March, meanwhile, stands at 9.15%.
As per data provided by the Delhi government, an average of around 38% of those admitted to hospitals require administration of oxygen. An analysis done on September 22 shows that of 7,242 patients admitted to hospitals across the city, 2,793 (38.5%) were on oxygen support. The percentage of patients requiring ventilator support was 3.83%.
Officials said that at present, oxygen is available on most beds set aside for Covid patients. “As we continued to learn about the pandemic, we realised early oxygen support in people whose oxygen saturation levels are dipping is helpful. This also helped reduce the death rate,” a senior government official said.
A majority of those who tested positive have recovered at home. Data between May 5 and September 23 shows that only 2% of those under home isolation had to be shifted to hospitals after their condition deteriorated. There are close to 18,000 active Covid patients under home isolation at present.