Delhi on Sunday reported 18,286 COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths, while the positivity rate dropped to 27.87 per cent from 30.64 per cent a day ago, according to health department data.
Only 65,621 tests were conducted on Saturday as compared to 67,624 on Friday and 79,578 on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain sought to allay concerns over "fewer" Covid tests being conducted in the national capital, saying the diagnostic tests being conducted in the city is three times the number recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
According to the Centre's new guidelines, asymptomatic patients do not need to undergo a test. Also, contacts of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients need not get tested unless they have comorbidities or are aged above 60. Jain said these new guidelines on testing have come after thoughtful consideration. All those who need to undergo testing are being tested, he added.
He said hospital admissions have plateaued and Covid positivity rate will also come down. "Restrictions by the Delhi government have impacted the spread of COVID-19. We will monitor the situation for three to four days before reviewing the curbs," Jain said. On Thursday, the national capital reported 28,867 COVID-19 cases, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic, after 98,832 tests were conducted the day before. Delhi's previous biggest daily jump of 28,395 cases was recorded on April 20 last year.
On Wednesday, Delhi had logged 40 deaths, the highest since June 10 last year, when 44 fatalities were recorded. According to government data, 2,591 Covid patients are in hospitals. Of these, 123 patients are on ventilator support. Of the 15,499 hospital beds for Covid patients, only 2,711 are occupied.
The capital has recorded 256 deaths due to the infection in January so far. It saw 130 fatalities in the last six months -- nine in December, seven in November, four in October, five in September and 29 in August. In July, Covid claimed 76 lives in the city. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Jain have repeatedly stressed that most deaths this time are due to comorbidities.
An analysis of 97 deaths that occurred between January 9 and January 12 showed that most of the patients had comorbidities. Seventy of them were not vaccinated and 62 were aged below 60. Jain had on Thursday said the number of hospital admissions has plateaued which indicates that the ongoing wave may have peaked and the cases may go down soon.
With inputs from PTI.