Gradual reduction in new cases, positivity rate points at decreasing COVID spread in Delhi: Jain

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (PTI) The gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate is a 'clear indicator' that the spread of the virus is decreasing in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

The minister announced that government rates would apply for the normal, non-ICU beds reserved in private hospitals by the Delhi government for COVID-19 patients.

'The positivity rate was 15.26 per cent on November 7. It is less than 11 per cent now. The maximum number of cases (8,593) were reported on November 10,' Jain said.

'The positivity rate has come down and the number of cases is also reducing gradually. It is a clear indicator that the spread of the virus is decreasing in Delhi,' he told reporters.

The average death rate across the country is 1.48 per cent, and in Delhi, it is 1.57 per cent, Jain said, adding that it was around 3.50 per cent in June.

There is no harm in wearing a face mask inside a car, the minister said, appealing to the people of the city to ensure that they don't step outside without wearing one.

Jain said 2,644 normal beds and 260 ICU beds 'extra' would be made available for COVID-19 patients in private hospitals after the government issued directions in this regard on Thursday.

The national capital reported 7,456 coronavirus cases on Thursday and the positivity rate was at 12.09 percent.

The AAP government on Thursday announced sweeping measures, including a steep Rs 2,000 fine for not wearing masks, reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals, doubling testing centres in every district and postponement of non-critical surgeries at health facilities.

Private hospitals have also been directed to increase the percentage of non-ICU COVID-19 beds from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

The government also said it will increase the number of RT-PCR test to 27,000 a day in the national capital and MBBS students and interns will be engaged to tackle the COVID-19 situation. PTI GVS IJT IJT