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Delhi adds 85 fresh COVID-19 cases, highest in over 4 months

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New Delhi, Dec 16: The national capital on Thursday recorded 85 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in over four months, while the positivity rate also rose to 0.15 per cent, according to the Delhi government's health bulletin.

Delhi adds 85 fresh COVID-19 cases, highest in over 4 months

Also on Thursday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the city has so far recorded 10 cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron but there has been no "severe" case. He said 40 people have currently been admitted to the special facility at the Lok Nayak Hospital meant for isolating and treating suspected Omicron cases. There were six cases of Omicron in Delhi till Tuesday.

The number increased to eight on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. On Wednesday, Delhi had recorded 57 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 0.10 per cent. The city reported 45 cases on Tuesday, 30 on Monday, 56 on Sunday and 52 on Saturday.

According to a health department official, the COVID cases are not classified on the basis of variants in the bulletin and there was no separate category for Omicron cases. Thursday's figure is the highest in over four months in the national capital.

On August 1 this year, Delhi had recorded 85 COVID-19 cases at a positivity rate of 0.12 per cent along with one fatality. "It is a matter of concern that within a span of 2-3 days the cases have risen and the positivity rate has gone up. In no time, the cases can rise to 100.

In February and March, the cases were low but then cases started rising by the end of March because people started letting their guard down," said Dr BL Sherwal, medical director at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital. He also noted that currently, the hospital admissions are low. Reacting to the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases, a senior doctor from Delhi government-run GTB Hospital, on the condition of anonymity, said, "the last three-four months went off smoothly, but the spurt in cases was impending.

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"World over, a spike in cases is being seen and some countries have even imposed lockdowns. People only wake up when they see a rise in cases. It is essential that people wear masks and maintain social distancing because it is expected that the cases may rise again."

According to the health bulletin, there was no fatality reported due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in the national capital. As many as 56,027, including 50,879 RT PCR tests were conducted, it said. There are currently 475 active cases of coronavirus, including nine of Omicron variant in the national capital.

According to the Delhi government's data reported on December 2, the Delta variant of coronavirus had been detected in 95 percent of the samples from Delhi sequenced at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the last six months. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, Jain said ten Omicron cases have been detected in Delhi so far, out of which one has been discharged.

Many international travellers are testing COVID positive upon arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the minister added.

"Eight such people were admitted to the hospital today (Thursday)," he said.

On Tuesday, Jain had said the Omicron variant of coronavirus has not spread in the community so far and the situation is under control. With 85 fresh cases, the city's COVID-19 caseload climbed to 14,41,935.

Of this, over 14.16 lakh patients have recovered from the disease, the health department bulletin stated. The death toll remained at 25,100. Delhi has recorded two deaths due to COVID-19 so far in December. It had logged seven COVID deaths in November, four in October and five in September. Of 475 active cases, 202 cases are in home isolation, the bulletin said.

The number of containment zones in the city stands at 125, it said. Out of 8,987 beds, 188 are occupied, it said.

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