28,867 Covid-19 cases: Delhi sees highest ever single-day tally
Delhi registered 28,867 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, the city’s biggest ever single-day tally, as the third national wave of the pandemic -- the fifth wave in Delhi -- eclipsed a record set 269 days ago, even while a relatively small number of patients continue to occupy hospital beds.
Before this, the Capital’s highest one-day case spike was on April 20 last year, when the city registered 28,395 infections -- the peak of the devastating fourth wave.
The data showed that Thursday’s case rise came on the back of nearly 99,000 tests, of which 29.21% returned positive results, an increase from 26.2% positive samples a day earlier. This number, known as test positivity rate, is at its highest since May 3 last year, when it touched 29.5%.
The city also added 31 deaths of the infection, showed Thursday’s state government numbers, fewer than the 40 fatalities recorded the previous day, and still far lower than the numbers recorded during the heights of the fourth surge of infections between April and May last year.
For instance, on April 20 last year, as the fourth wave hit its crescendo, the infection claimed 277 lives. In fact, the daily death toll, even at its highest during the fifth wave so far (40 on Wednesday), has been lower than that during the peak of infections during the third wave of infections in November 2020. On November 11 that year, Delhi added 8,593 Covid-19 cases, which was the highest daily count at that point, but logged 85 deaths.
This is largely because the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (that is responsible for a majority of the infections during Delhi’s ongoing wave), is far less virulent than previous iterations of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
Most patients infected by the Omicron variant develop milder symptoms, which do not necessitate hospitalisation or medical oxygen support. As a result, Delhi’s hospital admission numbers have remained comparatively low during the ongoing wave of the infection, with just over 2,400 patients occupying beds in the city’s facilities, leaving over 13,000 vacant.
In all, over 94,000 people in the city are currently battling Covid-19.
Health department data showed that 2,424 Covid-19 patients in Delhi were hospitalised as on Thursday, up marginally from 2,363 the previous day, and 2,209 on Tuesday.
Further, of those hospitalised with Covid-19 in Delhi currently, 768 patients were on oxygen support, 628 were in intensive care, and 98 were on ventilators.
A recent analyses by the Delhi government has also shown that a majority of those who have died of the infection over the past or so have been unvaccinated, or had other serious illnesses.
Only eight of the 97 Covid-29 patients who died in Delhi’s hospitals between January 9 and 12 were fully vaccinated, and only 19 had got one jab of the vaccine, according to the latest analysis. It mirrored similar findings from earlier in the month – of the 46 who died between January 5 and 9, 76% were unvaccinated.
Dr KK Talwar, former head of the Medical Council of India, who was also heading the Punjab government’s expert group on Covid-19 during the second wave, said, “The next two weeks will be crucial. If you follow the trends of South Africa, it seems like after cases and hospitalisations stabilise, the infections should also start falling. But we will have to see how trends behave in our cities.”