Delhi records 1,550 Covid cases, 207 deaths; positivity rate 2.52 pc

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New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) Delhi recorded 1,550 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 207 fatalities on Monday, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government has begun preparing for what is being termed the 'third wave'.

This is the lowest number of daily cases recorded since March 27 (1,558 cases) and the count has gone below the 2,000-mark for the second consecutive day.

The positivity rate in the national capital stands at 2.52 per cent.

According to the latest health bulletin, the 207 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 23,409.

On Sunday, 1,649 cases and 189 deaths were recorded, while the positivity rate had dipped to 2.42 per cent.

Delhi had recorded 3,846 cases and 235 deaths on Wednesday, and 3,231 cases and 233 deaths on Thursday, while the tally on Friday was 3,009 with 252 deaths. On Saturday, it fell further to 2,260 cases.

The positivity rate was 5.5 per cent on Thursday and 4.76 per cent on Friday, slipping gradually to less than 4 per cent on Saturday.

In an online briefing, Kejriwal earlier said, 'Now the cases are reducing significantly. For the country, this is the second wave but for Delhi, this is the fourth wave, and this time, in the last week of April around 28,000 cases were recorded but now they have come down to 1500.' The infection rate had also reached 36 per cent in the last week of April, coming down to around 2.5 per cent now, he said.

'It seems that this wave is subsiding but there has been no laxity in the efforts by the Delhi government. We have already started preparing for the next, what is being called the third wave,' the chief minister said.

Amid escalating cases of black fungus in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Jain on Saturday had asked people to be watchful and not resort to self-medication, particularly steroids, and said about 15 hospitals in the city are treating patients of mucormycosis.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is more common among people whose immunity has got lowered due to Covid, diabetes, kidney disease, liver or cardiac disorders, age-related issues, or those on medication for auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

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.' Delhi has been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals adding to the woes.

Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22. On May 2, the city registered a record 407 deaths, according to the official data.

A total of 61,506 tests, including 44,342 RT-PCR tests and 17,164 rapid antigen tests, were conducted a day ago, according to the health bulletin on Monday.

The number of cumulative cases on Monday stood at 14,18,418. Over 13.7 lakh patients have recovered from the virus.

The number of active cases decreased to 24,578 on Monday from 27,610 a day before, the bulletin said.

The number of people under home isolation dipped to 13,806 from 15,844 on Sunday while the number of containment zones dropped to 45,483 from 46,570 a day before, the bulletin said. PTI KND SNE

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