15,097 New Covid Cases In Delhi, Highest In 8 Months; Positivity Rate 15%

Delhi’s case positivity rate has surpassed 15 per cent

Delhi today reported over 15,000 cases of coronavirus in 24 hours – the highest since May 8. The national capital’s daily cases jumped a whopping 41.5 per cent in a day as 15,097 infections were detected in the city. This comes a day after the city witnessed its biggest single-day spike – 10,665 cases – in nearly eight months. The positivity rate has surpassed 15 per cent.

Six related deaths were recorded in the same period.

Delhi, one of the worst-hit states by the Covid pandemic, has been producing a tidal wave of cases over the past few days, a surge that is believed to be driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

The spike in Covid cases is also being accompanied by higher numbers of hospitalisations. The number of patients in hospitals in Delhi has increased from 247 on January 1 to 531 on January 4, according to the latest data. In the last three days, the number of patients on oxygen support has increased from 94 to 168 and those on ventilators from four to 14. 1,116 out of the 12,104 oxygen beds for Covid patients are occupied in Delhi hospitals, while 72 ICU beds with ventilators have patients, reported news agency PTI.

Earlier in the day, state Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that Delhi would likely report around 14,000 fresh cases today. The minister, however, ruled out the possibility of a lockdown in the national capital.

“Covid cases in Delhi have seen a sharp rise in the past few days. Many more cases have come, today it is going to be near 14,000,” Mr Jain had said, attributing the rise to increased testing.

“We are conducting the maximum number of tests in the country.”

Reassuring the people of Delhi about the city’s preparedness to deal with the spike, the minister said Delhi is in a “comfortable position” in terms of hospital bed occupancy.

“Currently, the death ratio is 1 in 1,000. The situation is fine as compared to last time. Yesterday we had 9,000 free beds, today it has become 12,000, so our preparations are complete. We are now conducting close to 90,000 tests,” he said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said that his government is prepared to handle one lakh cases of the coronavirus a day in the worst-case scenario. The city has directed all private hospitals and nursing homes with over 50 beds to reserve 40 per cent of normal beds and 40 per cent of their ICU beds for Covid patients. Currently, 14,937 patients are in home isolation.

The surge in cases has already triggered a red alert under the city’s colour-coded Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). A weekend curfew has been imposed in Delhi and government offices are working from home to arrest the sudden spurt. Under the restrictions, private offices can only function at 50 per cent capacity. Buses and the Delhi metro are operating at full capacity in order to avoid long queues and crowding. Leaves of all Delhi government officials and staff have been cancelled to ensure adequate manpower in handling the Covid wave.

Delhi currently has 14,937 patients in home isolation. The recovery rate is at 96.19 per cent.

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