A health worker in PPE Coveralls collects a swab sample to test for Covid infection at a school in Janakpuri, New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
A health worker in PPE Coveralls collects a swab sample to test for Covid infection at a school in Janakpuri, New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

Positivity rate in Delhi below 2% after 60 days

State health minister Satyender Jain hailed the improvement in Covid-19 numbers as an effect of the ongoing lockdown.
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2021 07:09 AM IST

The Capital’s Covid-19 test positivity rate dropped below the 2% mark for the first time in 60 days, while the city added fewer than 1,500 new cases as it continues to recover from a deadly fourth wave of infections.

State health minister Satyender Jain hailed the improvement in Covid-19 numbers as an effect of the ongoing lockdown.

On Wednesday, the city recorded a test positivity rate — proportion of samples that return positive for Covid-19 — of 1.93%, the lowest since March 27. After the third wave of the infections receded last December, the positivity rate remained below 2% for 103 days.

Experts regard the test positivity rate as a crucial metric to gauge the spread of an outbreak in a region. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a rate below 5% for at least two weeks for an infection to be considered under control in an area.

Between December-end and mid-March, this number stayed below 1% for 82 days in Delhi, before infections began to rise, and it became clear that Delhi was entering another surge.

The Capital added 1,491 more cases to its tally on Wednesday, even as the active case count dropped below 20,000 for the first time in 50 days.

Covid-19 deaths, too, fell to 130 on Wednesday, down from 156 the previous day, according to the state government’s daily health bulletin.

“The positivity rate and number of cases have gone down, and this is a direct impact of the lockdown. The bed occupancy has also reduced and several beds are available for Covid-19 patients. Around one-thirds of the ICU beds are also vacant,” said Jain.

The fall in active cases has freed up hospital beds, with nearly 75% Covid-19 beds vacant.

Around 45% of ICU beds were vacant as on Wednesday evening, the Delhi government’s dashboard showed, compared to end-April, when all ICU beds were occupied.

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