Amid the festive season and rising pollution level, Delhi on Wednesday recorded over 5,600 COVID-19 cases for the first time, with the city witnessing a sudden surge in daily incidences in the past few days. According to the latest health department bulletin, the positivity rate has also jumped to 9.37 per cent, as the infection tally in the city mounted to over 3.7 lakh.
Forty new fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,396, the bulletin said, adding that the fresh figure included one death which had occurred in August. The 5,673 fresh cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day, with the Delhi government scaling up RT-PCR tests, whose count stood at 17,284.
This is the first time when the number of daily cases in Delhi has crossed the 5,000-mark. The previous highest single-day spike of 4,853 cases was recorded on Tuesday.
The number of fresh cases recorded on Monday stood at 2,832, and 4,136 on Sunday, while the figures were 4,116 on Saturday and 4,086 on Friday. The active cases tally on Wednesday rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day, according to the bulletin.
It said that the total number of cases has climbed to 3,70,014. The number of containment zones in Delhi increased to 3,047 from 3,032 on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi government announced that all schools will continue to be closed till further orders in view of the COVID-19 situation. The sudden spike in cases comes amid the festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, the next festival is Diwali and Chhath in November.
Delhi has been witnessing a rise in pollution the last few days. On Tuesday, Delhi's air quality was recorded in the "very poor" category. On Wednesday, the city recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 297, which falls in the "poor" category. Prior to this, the air quality remained "very poor" for five days on the trot.
The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev took a review meeting with all district magistrates on the COVID-19 situation, the bulletin said.
The recovery rate on Wednesday was over 90 per cent, it said. According to the Wednesday bulletin, out of the total number of 15,765 beds in COVID hospitals, 10,100 are vacant.
It said that 497 beds in COVID care centres are occupied by persons under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by the Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights. The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the count on several times crossing the 60,000-mark.
The number of Rapid Antigen Tests conducted on Tuesday stood at 43,287 while the RT-PCR, CBNAAT and True NAAT tests figures were 17,284 in all adding to 60,571, according to the bulletin. The number of tests done per million, as on Tuesday, was over 2.37 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 45 lakh.
The bulletin said that 3,34,240 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far. Since September, daily cases had begun to rise in the city. From the last week of September, it had started to come down a bit.
The number of people in home isolation rose to 16,396 compared to 16,822 the previous day.