NEW DELHI: Covid-19 cases in Delhi are again going up. In the past seven days, more than 1,000 new daily cases were recorded daily, except on Monday, when 707 people tested positive. The increase is also reflected in hospital admissions. According to data shared by Delhi government, 3,318 of 13,906 Covid beds, or 24%, are now in use.
“We have seen a significant increase in Covid admissions in the last three or four days,” Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS, told TOI. Possible reasons for this, according to Guleria, were the increased public movement; people ignoring social distancing and face masks; and the humidity, which aids survival of viruses. “The weather certainly plays a role in the longevity of viruses. We have seen with H1N1 how cases increase during the rainy season due to low temperature and high humidity,” the AIIMS director said.

On Tuesday, Delhi recorded 1,257 new Covid cases, taking the city’s tally to over 1.47 lakh. On the brighter side, only eight new fatalities were reported in the preceding 24 hours, government officials said.
In August 2-4, daily cases dipped gradually to a three-figure count: 961 on August 2, 805 on August 3 and 674 a day later. However, in August 5-9, the daily cases again breached the 1,000 mark before falling to three figures on August 10.
Of the total tests conducted in the last 24 hours, Delhi government said 5,356 (38%) employed RT-PCR, the gold standard for Covid testing, while 14,084 (62%) involved Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT). The former detects the presence of infection by targeting specific genetic sequences of the Covid virus and has 68-80% ability to correctly identify infection. RAT detects infection by targeting specific viral proteins present in the patient sample. Though it gives results faster, RAT’s sensitivity is significantly lower and can give a high rate of false negative results.
On July 27, Delhi high court asked Delhi government to ramp up RT-PCR tests. The city can carry out 11,000 RT-PCR tests every day. “Traffic has become normal in most places in Delhi. People are moving out of their homes, leading to an increase in cases,” opined Dr Arup Basu, senior consultant for chest medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “While going out in itself may not be bad, it is important to follow social distancing measures and to wear masks. The government must strictly implement these precautionary measures to avoid a wave of new cases.
At Apollo Hospitals, Dr Suranjit Chatterjee reiterated, “Since there is no cure for Covid-19 yet, social distancing and masks are key weapons in the battle against the virus.”

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