Covid positivity rate rockets past 35% as tests fall to 28-day low in Delhi
With 20,201 fresh cases of Covid-19, Delhi saw a slight dip in the incidence of the viral infection on Monday. This, however, was largely owing to fewer tests being conducted on Sunday, as reported a day later in Monday’s health bulletin, as labs and health facilities continued to contend with the sheer volume of cases in the city.
There were 57,690 tests conducted on Monday as compared to an average of 79,123 tests conducted daily for the last seven days. Monday’s testing numbers were the lowest in the national capital since March 30, when the city tested 36,757 samples.
With fewer tests, the positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive among the total tested – also increased to 35.02% on Monday, meaning more than one in three persons who got tested were positive for the infection.
The city also reported its highest toll ever on Monday, with 380 deaths.
Delhi has reported over 300 Covid-19 fatalities a day for five days in a row. With a high number of cases, however, the case fatality ratio (CFR) – proportion of deaths among those who test positive – remains low at 1.4%.
“All the statistical models indicate that with the current trajectory, the number of cases will likely peak in mid-May. And, the deaths two weeks after that. The descending limb will be long and it will be some time before we reach the January-February levels,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the department of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research.
He said, “Last year, the curve of the infection was bell-shaped. This year, however, it is almost vertical. And, when there is a steep rise in cases the decline is slower.” With entire families testing positive for the infection in one go, he suggested that cluster sampling be carried out to see whether it is one strain in circulation.
The proportion of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) in genome samples sequenced from Covid-19 cases in Delhi has risen from 28% in the second week of March to the 50% in the last week, Dr. Sujeet Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in a webinar on Friday.