On Tuesday, the city reported 521 cases, the highest single-day rise since August 27 last year, from 3,331 cases. The positivity rate stood at 15.6%. On Monday, 293 new cases out of 1,581 samples and two deaths were reported, with a positivity rate of 18.5%. On Saturday, the positivity rate stood at 14.4% from 2,895 samples and at 16.1% on Sunday from 2,667 samples. The city has reported consecutive Covid fatalities from Sunday to Tuesday.
The number of active cases in Delhi has now reached 1,795. Delhi government has 7,988 beds in dedicated Covid hospitals, out of which only 120 (1.5%) are occupied, which also includes suspected cases. The number of confirmed patients admitted to hospitals reached 112 on Wednesday from 96 on Tuesday. Out of them, 47 are admitted to ICU and 34 are on oxygen support.
Despite the surge, the government has not yet increased sample collection or added centres for vaccination. Last week, both the chief minister and the health minister said the government was closely monitoring the situation and the testing capacity could be increased to up to one lakh in a day. After visiting Hindu Rao Hospital on Wednesday, mayor Shelly Oberoi said, “Our hospitals are fully equipped with facilities related to Covid. Moreover, all blood tests, such as RTPCR and antigen tests, are also being provided at our facilities.”
Experts noted that the rise was also due to people with influenza symptoms coming for testing. Dr Giridhar R Babu, head of life course epidemiology at Public Health Foundation of India, said just a spike in cases should not be anticipated as a Covid wave unless there was a major surge in hospitalisations or deaths. “Although XBB.1.16 may be more contagious than other Omicron variants, there is no evidence of higher disease severity, increased hospitalisation, or elevated mortality rates. That means earlier vaccine doses are still protecting.”
Compensation for kin
Social welfare minister Raaj Kumar Anand on Wednesday handed over a Rs 1-crore cheque to the family of Hemant Kumar, a teacher at Government Children’s Higher Secondary School in Model Town-3 who lost his life while on Covid duty. Nearly 70 Corona Warriors have got the financial assistance.