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Uptick in positivity rate, experts flag next Covid wave in Delhi

On Sunday, the city saw over 800 cases for the second day in a row — 823 new cases from 79,714 tests, a positivity rate of 1.03%. With one more person succumbing to the virus, the death toll stands at 10,956.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: March 22, 2021 7:05:52 am
Covid-19, DelhiThe surge in daily cases is in accordance with the sudden spike observed in other states like Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab. (Express Archive)

With the daily positivity rate of Covid-19 cases on the rise in the capital over the past week, experts have raised red flags of a resurgence of the next wave.

On Sunday, the city saw over 800 cases for the second day in a row — 823 new cases from 79,714 tests, a positivity rate of 1.03%. With one more person succumbing to the virus, the death toll stands at 10,956.

Lalit Kant, former head of the department of epidemiology at ICMR, said, “Positivity rate is an indicator of the kind of testing we are doing. If it is increasing, then we need to further test more people. We need to be a little more proactive. We need to act and nip it in the bud because if not done now, things will go out of hand. In the last one week, the number of cases have been increasing; each day, we are adding 100 new cases to the tally. Every person on an average infects two-four people, and until we are able to contain them, these people will continue to infect others.”

In January, a total of 20,82,596 tests were performed, out of which 9,737 were positive. The monthly positivity rate was recorded at 0.46%. For the next month, authorities conducted 15,75,951 tests, while 4,074 (0.25%) people tested positive.

This month, 13,60,064 people have been tested so far and 7,872 have been found to be infected with the disease. The daily positivity rate rose beyond the 1% mark for the first time since December 27 on Saturday when the city recorded 813 new cases, taking the positivity rate to 1.07%.

According to experts, it is extremely crucial to identify the age group of those who are being infected recently. “If the younger age groups are coming, then we are sitting on the cusp of another big wave. Till now, we had people above 60 years with pre-existing illness and below 60 with co-morbidities. But if the disease is moving to the younger population, where the number is big, then we need to be cautious and act quickly,” said Prof Kant.

The surge in daily cases is in accordance with the sudden spike observed in other states like Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab. While a few of the states are mulling the option of another round of lockdown, no such measures are being planned in Delhi, senior government officials said. “Announcing a lockdown is a huge step but the government should do certain things. More people should be issued hefty fines; the public should be scared about not following Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Prof Kant.

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