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Delhi's Covid-19 Positivity Rate Increases to 7.4% Stoking Concerns of a Fresh Outbreak

Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) are seen inside an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, in New Delhi, India July 17, 2020.

Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) are seen inside an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, in New Delhi, India July 17, 2020.

Delhi on Monday, reported 1,061 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally in the city to more than 1.62 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,313, authorities said.

The national capital's coronavirus positivity rate has again shot up as 7.4% of the total tests undertaken in the last week came back positive. Notably, this is the highest the figure has been in more than a month, indicating that Delhi may be witnessing another bout of the outbreak, which it had reined to a significant extent. The positivity rate is the fragment of samples collected that tested positive and it is a key indicator of the extent of the spread of the virus.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, taking into consideration the single-day positivity rate, 8.9% of samples tested on Sunday turned out to be positive. This is the maximum number in over a month. Close to 10.3% of the total tests returned positive on July 13, when infections in the city were starting to taper.

The development assumes significance as the number of daily tests in the capital city continued to witness a fall from the peak levels – 11,910 samples were tested on Sunday, with 8,084 (67.9%) of these being antigen tests, the report added. Meanwhile, on on August 8, Delhi undertook 24,592 tests. The seven-day average for these tests is at 17,985 - less than the peak of 21,660 for the week concluding on July 10.

With daily tests have reached a stage of little change, the average positivity rate has begun rising in the recent weeks, causing concern to health authorities. The figure, which had previously fallen from a peak of 31.4% in mid-June to 5.7% at the end of July, stood at 7.4% in the last week – the highest since July 19, the HT report added.

But to put things in perspective, the national capital has one of the highest testing rates in India. Delhi has undertaken more than 75,947 tests per million residents as opposed to the national average of 26,935.

Meanwhile, Delhi on Monday, reported 1,061 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally in the city to more than 1.62 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,313, authorities said. Thirteen fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi government's health bulletin.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the infection rate in the capital is below 10 per cent, when he was questioned by reporters over the surge in coronavirus cases over the last week.

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