6,224 new COVID-19 cases in Delhi, 109 more die

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (PTI) Delhi recorded 6,224 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and a positivity rate of 10.14 per cent while 109 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,621, authorities said.

These relatively high number of fresh cases came out of the 61,381 tests conducted on Monday including 24,602 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department.

Authorities had said last Friday that 23,507 RT-PCR tests, the highest till date, were conducted a day before.

The national capital had recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11 when 85 fatalities linked to the pandemic were also registered.

As many as 109 fatalities were recorded on Tuesday, as against 121 deaths on Monday.

This is the seventh time in the last 13 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark.

Authorities reported 121 deaths on Monday, 121 deaths on Sunday, 111 on Saturday, 118 on Friday,131 on November 18, the highest till date, and 104 fatalities on November 12.

The active cases tally on Tuesday stood at 38,501 as compared to 37,329 on Monday.

According to the bulletin, the total number of cases has climbed to 5,40,541 of which 4,93,419 have recovered.

The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi rose to 4,708 on Tuesday as compared to 4,692 Monday.

The bulletin said that of the total number of 17,958 beds in COVID-19 hospitals, 8,591 are vacant.

On Monday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had attributed the high COVID-19 death rate to the pollution caused by stubble-burning and said he expected a downtrend in the next two-three weeks, while the city got a mobile laboratory that will conduct free RT-PCR test for coronavirus.

The minister had told reporters that the pollution due to stubble-burning created a big problem in Delhi. It caused problems in breathing and those who had COVID-19 inhaled the smoke, which aggravated the seriousness, he said.

'There was heavy pollution due to stubble-burning amid the Covid-19 pandemic and it came as a double attack. Since the pollution due to stubble-burning is less now, the downtrend in deaths will be there in a few weeks,' Jain had said.

As the national capital grappled with a surge in the infection, the Delhi government directed private hospitals to reserve ICU and normal beds for COVID-19 patients once these are vacated after the discharge of non-coronavirus patients.

The government has ordered 90 private hospitals to reserve 60 per cent of their total bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, while 42 private hospitals have been directed to reserve 80 per cent of their total ICU bed capacity for such patients.

The AAP government had last week increased the fine for not wearing masks from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 and directed private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for coronavirus patients.

The sudden spike in cases came amid the festive season and rising pollution level.

While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, Diwali was celebrated on November 14 and Chhath on November 20-21.

The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

The number of tests done per million as on Friday was over 3 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 58 lakh. PTI AMP GJS CK