7,053 new COVID-19 cases registered in Delhi; death toll 7,332 with 104 more fatalities

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) Delhi recorded 7,053 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.67 lakh on Thursday, while 104 more fatalities in a same period, the highest in over five months, pushed the death toll to 7,332, authorities said.

These fresh coronavirus cases were detected from 60,229 tests, including 19,752 RT-PCR, conducted the previous day. Delhi recorded a positivity rate of 11.71 per cent amid the festive season and rising pollution in the city, according to the bulletin issued by the health department.

Of the total tests conducted the previous day, 40,477 were rapid-antigen tests, while at 19,752, it was the highest number of RT-PCR tests conducted in a day till date, the bulletin said.

The national capital had recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,593 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, while 85 deaths linked to the disease were recorded on that day.

On Thursday, 104 more fatalities, the highest in a day in over five months, were recorded, pushing the death toll in Delhi to 7,332.

The city had registered 93 deaths on June 16. Delhi recorded 71 fatalities from COVID-19 on Monday, 79 on Saturday and 77 on Sunday.

The number of active cases of coronavirus infection rose to 43,116 on Thursday from 42,629 the previous day, the bulletin said, adding the total number of cases reported so far has climbed to 4,67,028 while the recovery rate was over 89 per cent.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court's order allowing the AAP government to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in 33 private hospitals came as shot in the arm for the city dispensation which was struggling to ramp up health infrastructure in view of a sudden spike in cases.

An official said around 1,000 more ICU beds will be available for COVID-19 patients in the national capital following the high court order.

The court vacated the stay order passed by a single-judge and listed the matter for further hearing on November 26 before the single-judge bench. Till then, the 80 per cent reservation of ICU beds would continue.

As many as 976 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the national capital in the last 16 days, with experts attributing it to a sudden surge in cases, deteriorating air quality, laxity by people in adhering to safety norms, among other factors.

Coronavirus cases in Delhi have registered a sudden spike since October 28 when the daily infection breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on Thursday, also for the first time.

The number of containment zones in Delhi increased to 4,141 on Wednesday from 4,016 on Tuesday.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain launched a mobile app that would allow people access free e-vehicle service dedicated for transportation of COVID-19 patients not in critical condition, officials said.

The Jeevan Seva app can be download through a link which will be sent through SMS and QR codes to every COVID-19 patient in Delhi who have been tested.

The sudden spike in cases comes amid festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, the next festival is Diwali and Chhath in November.

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.

According to the Thursday bulletin, out of the total number of 16,590 beds in COVID hospitals, 8,002 were vacant.

It said 153 beds in COVID care centres are occupied by people under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights. The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the count on several times crossing the 60,000 mark.

The number of tests per million, as on Wednesday was over 2.8 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 53 lakh.

The bulletin said 4,16,580 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far.

Since September, daily cases had begun to rise in the city. From the last week of September, it had stated to come down a bit. The number of people in home isolation increased to 26,252 on Wednesday from 24,435 the previous day. PTI KND NSD