COVID-19: Delhi records 6,715 new cases, 66 more fatalities; positivity rate now 12.84 pc

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI) Delhi reported over 6,700 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the infection tally to over 4.16 lakh and the positivity rate to 12.84 per cent, while 66 new fatalities, the highest in around four months, took the death toll to 6,769.

The fresh cases were confirmed following 52,294 tests conducted in the national capital on Wednesday, the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health department showed.

This is the third consecutive day when the number of daily cases has crossed the 6,000-mark.

Delhi reported 6,842 cases on Wednesday, the maximum till date, and 6,725 cases on Tuesday. The city had recorded over 5,000 daily cases for five days on the trot ending Sunday, when the count stood at 5,664.

On Monday, it added 4,001 new COVID-19 cases to the cumulative count.

On Thursday, 66 new fatalities were recorded, the highest in around four months, which pushed the death toll in the national capital to 6,769. Authorities reported 51 deaths on Wednesday, 48 on Tuesday, 42 on Monday and 51 on Sunday.

The tally of active cases rose to 38,729 on Thursday from 37,379 the previous day, the bulletin said, adding that the total number of cases has climbed to 4,16,653 in the city and the positivity rate stands at 12.84 per cent.

The number of Rapid Antigen Tests conducted on Wednesday stood at 36,590, while that of RT-PCR, CBNAAT and True NAAT combined was 15,704.

The number of containment zones in Delhi increased to 3,684 from 3,596 on Wednesday, the bulletin mentioned.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has decided to ban firecrackers in the national capital and ramp up medical infrastructure in hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said after a review of the COVID-19 situation on Thursday.

COVID-19 cases have increased in Delhi due to the ongoing festival season and pollution, the chief minister said after the review meeting with the chief secretary, Health department officials and district magistrates (DMs).

'Reviewed corona situation in Delhi and preparedness with Chief Secy, Health officials and all DMs. Corona cases have increased due to festival season and pollution. It was decided to: 1. Ban crackers in Delhi, 2. Ramp up medical infra, Oxygen and ICU beds are being increased in Delhi govt hospitals,' Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the national capital was doing much better than all other metro cities in India and was on the 17th position in terms of COVID-19 deaths per million population.

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

The National Centre for Disease Control, in a report drafted recently, had warned that Delhi needed 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 15,803 beds in COVID hospitals, 8,572 are vacant.

The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the daily count crossing the 60,000-mark several times.

The number of tests done per million, as on Wednesday, was over 2.59 lakh, while the total number of tests stood at over 49.32 lakh.

The bulletin said 3,71,155 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far. PTI GVS IJT