COVID-19: Over 1,500 cases in Delhi; 5 deaths

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) Delhi reported 1,515 coronavirus cases on Thursday, highest in over three months, while five more people succumbed to the disease, the health department said.

This is the highest number of cases since December 16 when 1,547 people tested positive for the virus, according to official data. The city had recorded 1,254 cases on Wednesday and 1,101 cases on Tuesday -- the first time since December 24 that the number of cases crossed the 1,000-mark.

The active cases rose to 5,497 on Thursday from 4,890 a day ago. The positivity rate rose to 1.69 percent from 1.52 per cent on Wednesday, the health bulletin said. The positivity rate was 1.31 percent on Tuesday, 1.32 percent on Monday and 1.03 per cent on Sunday.

The new infections pushed the tally to 6,52,742, while over 6.36 lakh patients have recovered from the virus. There were 888 cases on Monday, 823 on Sunday, 813 on Saturday, 716 on Friday, 607 on Thursday, and 536 on Wednesday last week, according to official data.

Five more people died from the pathogen on Thursday, taking the number of fatalities to 10,978. A total of 89,836 tests, including 58,303 RT-PCR tests, were conducted a day ago, the bulletin said. The number of people under home isolation rose to 2,871 from 2,560 from a day ago. The containment zones rose to 1,076 from 976 on Wednesday, it said.

The caseload in Delhi on January 1 had stood at over 6.25 lakh and the total fatalities were 10,557.

The number of daily cases had started to come down in February. On February 26, the month's highest daily count of 256 cases was recorded. However, the number of daily cases begun to rise again in March and has been steadily increasing over the last few days.

Health experts and doctors have attributed this 'sudden rise' in cases to people turning complacent, not following COVID-appropriate behaviour and 'assuming all is well now'.

The next two-three months could be challenging, they said, adding the situation can be kept under control if vaccination is opened up for more people and COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to. Amid a rise in coronavirus cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority had on Tuesday ordered that there will be no public celebrations in the national capital during upcoming festivals such as Holi and Navaratri. PTI GVS RHL