Delhi's positivity rate far lower than in Maha, Kerala; govt on full vigil: Jain on spike in cases

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) Amid a sudden spike in daily COVID-19 cases in the city, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday the positivity rate in Delhi is still less than one per cent, 'much lower' compared to the figures in Maharashtra and Kerala, and asserted that the city government was on a 'full vigil' to combat the pandemic.

Delhi on Friday recorded 431 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise in nearly two months, while the positivity rate increased to 0.60 per cent, according to data shared by the health department.

The city recorded over 400 cases for the second consecutive day on Friday. The count on Thursday was 409.

Interacting with reporters outside the House of the Delhi Assembly, Jain said the figures of over 400 per day suddenly were 'not alarming'.

'The positivity rate in Delhi in November was about 15 per cent. It came down to less than five per cent first and then to less that one per cent, and for the last two months, it is still below 1 per cent, which is much lower than what is being recorded in cities in Maharashtra and Kerala,' he said.

He said there is a 'stark difference' in the number of cases reported in Delhi and states like Maharashtra and Kerala, adding that the positivity rate recorded in Maharashtra is 'about 10 per cent', while in the national capital it is hovering around 0.5 per cent.

Maharashtra has been recording a substantial rise in coronavirus cases of late, with authorities attributing it to crowding witnessed during the gram panchayat elections held in mid-January this year and a widespread disregard for the norms by common people as well as politicians.

The state on Thursday recorded 14,317 fresh COVID-19 cases, which is not only the highest so far in 2021, but also since October 7 last year. The overall case count till Thursday night was 22,66,374.

Jain said, 'We are fully prepared and on full vigil', adding that over 70,000-80,000 tests are being conducted a day.

With 431 new coronavirus cases, the infection tally in Delhi has risen to 6,42,870, according to the latest health bulletin.

The number of active cases of the disease in Delhi increased to 2,093 on Friday from 2,020 on Thursday, while the positivity rate rose to 0.60 from 0.59 per cent the previous day.

Health experts and doctors have attributed this 'sudden rise' to people turning complacent, not following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and 'assuming all is well now'.

The total number of tests conducted on Thursday stood at 72,031, including 46,135 RT-PCR tests and 25,896 rapid antigen tests, the bulletin said.

'We are quite alert, tests are being being conducted on a large scale. We are well within the cut-off mark, and are on the safer side, concerning the positivity rate. Delhi alone is conducting COVID tests, five times that of what is being conducted in all of India,' Jain was quoted as saying in a statement issued later by the Delhi government. PTI KND VIT KJ