Delhi reported over 1,500 coronavirus cases for the third day on the trot on Saturday, while 10 more people, highest in around two-and-a-half months, succumbed to the disease, the health department said. The national capital has registered 1,558 new infections which pushed the tally to 6,55,834, while over 6.38 lakh patients have recovered from the virus. This is the highest number of cases since December 15 last year when 1,617 people tested positive for the virus, according to official data. The city had recorded 1,534 cases on Friday, 1,515 cases on Thursday, 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 6,625 from 6,051 on Friday. The positivity rate stood at 1.70 per cent, a health department bulletin said. The positivity rate was 1.80 per cent on Friday, 1.69 per cent on Thursday, 1.52 per cent on Wednesday, 1.31 per cent on Tuesday, 1.32 per cent on Monday and 1.03 per cent on Sunday.
Ten more people died from the pathogen on Saturday, taking the number of fatalities to 10,987. It is the highest number of deaths since January 13 when 11 people succumbed to the disease. A total of 91,703 tests, including 59,648 RT-PCR tests, were conducted a day ago, the bulletin said. The number of people under home isolation rose to 3,708 from 3,312 a day ago. The containment zones rose to 1,506 from 1,307 on Friday, 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 daily cases begun to rise again in March and it has been steadily increasing over the past few days.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday dismissed any possibility of imposing another lockdown in Delhi, saying it was not a solution to check the spread of the coronavirus that is again surging rapidly. The minister said that there were enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients and it could be increased if the need arises.
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 that the situation can be kept under control if vaccination is opened up for more people and COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority had on Tuesday ordered that there will be no public celebrations in the national capital during upcoming festivals such Holi and Navaratri.
Jain said action will be taken against those found violating the directions issued for Holi celebrations.