Photo used for representational purpose only
NEW DELHI: Delhi recorded 787 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Monday, taking the tally to over 1.53 lakh, while the death toll rose to 4,214 with 18 more fatalities.
The number of tests conducted was 14,988. Of these, 10,882 (73%) were done using rapid antigen testing (RAT), and 4,106 (27%) tests were conducted using the RT-PCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat method, the gold standard for Covid testing.
Delhi high court, on July 27, asked Delhi government to ramp up RT-PCR tests for Covid-19. Delhi has a capacity to conduct 11,000 RT-PCR tests daily. However, data shows the number of RT-PCR tests has remained between 3,024 and 6,478 over the past week.
RT-PCR detects the presence of infection by targeting specific genetic sequences of SARS CoV2, the virus causing Covid-19. It has 68% to 80% sensitivity — ability to correctly identify those with the disease.
Rapid antigen test detects the presence of infection by targeting specific viral proteins present in a sample. Though it gives results faster, its sensitivity is significantly lower, which means it throws up a high rate of false-negative results.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) says RAT has to be utilised mainly in containment zones/hotspots and healthcare settings. For patients suffering from severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), for example fever and cough, ICMR told the court that RT-PCR testing was advised. “Rapid antigen throws false negatives in many cases. If the person who has disease symptoms isn’t re-tested using RT-PCR immediately, there is a risk that we may miss positive cases and the suspect can continue to spread the disease,” says a doctor.
Most big hospitals say there has been a significant increase in Covid-19 cases over the past 10 days, after a brief decline last month. The same is also reflected in the occupancy rate for Covid-19 beds that had reduced to less than 3,000 on July 30 and continued to be so till August 5. It has now reached 3,579. Of the 1,231 ICU beds with ventilators, 434 are occupied. The occupancy of ICU beds without a ventilator is 37%, according to the latest update by hospital on the Delhi Corona app.
Max Smart, Saket, Indraprastha Apollo, Max Patparganj, BLK Super Specialty, Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Aakash Healthcare among others did not have any ICU bed with ventilator available at 10pm on Monday.