Health worker collects nasal sample from a man for Covid-19 test in Delhi

NEW DELHI: In a worrying indication that the Covid-19 outbreak in Delhi was far from over, the health department reported 1,544 new cases on Tuesday, the highest daily count in the capital in 40 days.
Delhi had last reported a higher single-day surge on July 16, when 1,652 fresh cases were recorded. Since then, daily cases had stayed under 1,500, even dipping to a low of 613 on July 27, till Tuesday’s tally was announced.
Another pointer to a possible rise in infections is the city’s positivity rate – the percentage of positive cases out of the total samples tested. The positivity rate, which had reduced to less than 6%, again rose to 8.9% and 7.7% on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. This is also an indication that Delhi needs to again ramp up the number of daily tests, which have fallen in recent days. Active cases in the city, which had dropped below 10,000 earlier this month, have again risen to nearly 12,000, at 11,998.
With Covid cases rising, over 3,600 hospital beds occupied
Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of ICMR, said the population density in Delhi-NCR region was high and so was the movement of people. Since the phased unlocking of restrictions, the movement of people had increased. “We have to maintain all precautions. Otherwise, we may witness an increase in cases once again as we have seen in London, Italy and Spain,” he said.
According to the Delhi health department, 19,841 people were tested for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. A total of 5,380 tests were conducted using RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests and the rest, 14,461 tests, were carried out using rapid antigen tests. “Of the total number of persons tested, 1,544 (7.7%) came positive for Covid-19,” said an official.
The total number of cases in Delhi has now crossed 1.64 lakh, while the death toll has mounted to 4,330. Seventeen fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi government’s health bulletin.
As many as 1,47,743 patients have either recovered, been discharged or have migrated out while the number of active cases stands at 11,998. The rise in new Covid-19 cases has also led to increase in the demand for hospital beds. On Tuesday, the government data showed that out of 14,129 total beds in hospitals, 3,617 were occupied. In July-end, the occupancy of Covid beds in hospitals had reduced to less than 3,000.

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