59 new COVID-19 cases, four more deaths in Delhi; positivity rate 0.08 pc

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New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) The national capital recorded 59 COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Saturday while the positivity rate dropped to 0.08 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.

The four new fatalities have pushed the death toll in the city to 25,027. On Friday, the national capital had recorded 66 cases, one fatality and a positivity rate of 0.09 per cent, while on Thursday the city had logged 72 COVID-19 infections and one death with a positivity rate of 0.10 per cent.

The city's case positivity rate had reached its highest at 36 per cent in the last week of April.

According to the latest health bulletin, 59 fresh cases and four deaths were recorded on Saturday.

Delhi had recorded 77 cases and one death on Wednesday, while the daily infection tally was 76 with two deaths the day before.

Despite the fall in daily cases in the last several days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has cautioned that the chance of the third wave of the COVID-19 infections was quite real and asserted that his government was preparing on a 'war-footing' to combat it.

Last week, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had passed a colour-coded response action plan under which curbs will be implemented in accordance with the severity of the COVID-19 situation to deal with a possible third wave of the pandemic.

Kejriwal had last week had inaugurated a genome-sequencing laboratory at the ILBS hospital here and said these labs will detect the lethality of the coronavirus variants and help the government prepare accordingly.

A total of 76,421 tests, including 52,490 RT-PCR and 23,931 rapid antigen tests, were conducted a day ago, according to the health bulletin on Saturday.

The number of active cases decreased to 621 on Saturday from 657 a day before. The number of people in home isolation dropped to 212 from 228 on Friday while the number of containment zones slightly rose to 422 from 418 a day before, it said.

Delhi had reeled under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that swept the country claiming a massive number of lives daily with the oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals adding to the woes.

From April 19 onwards daily cases and death count spiralled up with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20. On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths, as per the official data.

However, the number of cases and deaths have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate has been shrinking for over a month now.

In view of the improving COVID-19 situation, the Delhi government had announced the reopening of restaurants with 50 per cent capacity and one weekly market per municipal zone from June 14.

With a close gathering of shoppers in markets and restaurants resuming business amid phased unlock in the national capital, doctors have cautioned that Delhi could face a 'worse than second wave situation' of COVID-19 if people do not adhere to safety norms or lower their guards.

On May 15, Kejriwal had said, 'The virus is reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope it diminishes completely and does not rise again. However, we are not going to become negligent in any way.' PTI KND NSD NSD

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