Nearly three-fold surge in Covid positivity rate in Delhi between April 11-18
New Delhi, April 19: The Covid-19 cases are on the rise again in national capital Delhi with the positivity rate registering a nearly three-fold rise between April 11-18, as per the city health department data.
On April 11, the positivity rate stood at 2.70 per cent which jumped to 3.95 per cent on April 15 followed by 5.33 per cent on April 16 and 7.72 per cent on April 18, according to the data. Last week, Delhi registered a total of 2,606 positive Covid cases against 67,360 tests conducted during the period and the average positive rate stood at 4.79 per cent, the data showed.
137 cases of Covid-19 were reported out of 5,079 Covid tests conducted on April 11, while 501 people tested positive out of 6,492 tests conducted on April 18, according to the data provided by the Delhi government.
Delhi recorded two deaths due to Covid during this period. The positive rate surged during the April 11-18 week, barring on April 17 when it dropped to 4.21 per cent from 5.33 per cent the previous day. Doctors said the cases are expected to surge in the coming days. However, they said the current trends are not concerning as most of the cases are mild and due to the Omicron XE variant.
"The variant has more transmissibility but is causing mild infection. It is causing upper respiratory infection and not lower respiratory infection," said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of community Medicine, Safdurjung hospital. The doctors said as the cases rise, there will be some increase in the mortality and hospitalisation rate, but it will not go beyond control. Dr Abhinav Guliani, a pulmonologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said, "People must remain vigilant. There will be an increase in cases but it will not go beyond control," he added.
After the cases saw a significant drop in Delhi, the Delhi government recently relaxed Covid restrictions and made masks voluntary last month. On April 1, the positivity rate in Delhi was 0.5 per cent. However, there was a surge in Covid cases from the second week of April. Dr Kishore said the relaxation of curbs had a little impact on the current surge.
"People coming out in large numbers might have also led to this increase in cases. But the major reason for the surge, I feel, is the highly transmissible variant," said Kishore. Guliani also pointed out the curbs were relaxed last month but cases have only risen since the last week.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will hold a crucial meeting on Wednesday to discuss the rising number of infections in the city. The meeting is likely to discuss the mandatory use of face masks and hybrid modes of offline and online teaching for school children as well. When asked whether the curbs should be re-imposed, Dr Guliani said instead of relying on government-imposed restrictions, people must remain vigilant and exercise social distancing.
"The virus is here to stay for a long time. We cannot impose restrictions every time there is a surge in Covid cases. People should take care of themselves and isolate themselves whenever they witness any kind of symptoms," he said. PTI