Positivity rate up to 0.60%, almost double since February 27
Delhi reported over 300 cases of Covid-19 for the second day in a row on Saturday even as the city’s positivity rate continued to slowly creep up. The city recorded 321 cases on Saturday — highest since the 340 cases were reported on January 14, data released by the Delhi government said.
The city’s positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive among the total tested – rose to 0.60%, with only 53,062 tests having been conducted on Friday and reported a day later in Saturday’s health bulletin. Saturday’s positivity rate is almost double of 0.36% that was reported last Saturday and highest since January 9, when it stood at 0.65%.
Positivity rate, which reflects the spread of the infection, has increased to 0.43% on an average in the last seven days, from 0.32% the week before and 0.25% the week before that. After Delhi saw the third surge of cases in November – when 8,593 cases were reported in a day at its peak – the positivity rate started dipping, slipping below 5% on December 3. The positivity rate then dropped to below 1% by December end.
Although a positivity rate of less than 5% means that the spread of the infection is under check, the new increase has expert worried. “The current increase in the number of cases in Delhi – and other states like Maharashtra – is likely because of new variants of the virus that are more transmissible. The last serosurvey in Delhi had shown that over 50% of the population had antibodies. The new variants may be spreading faster among the rest,” said Dr Shobha Broor, former head of the department of microbiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Hastening the vaccination drive in such areas is likely to help.
“There is a need for the vaccination drive to pick up pace; the number of infections have already started increasing in Maharashtra and Delhi is also reporting some increase. The more people we are able to vaccinate in these areas, the less the transmission will be,” said Dr SK Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science. He headed Delhi government’s first committee on controlling and managing Covid-19.