3rd day of 4k+ cases in Delhi; Positivity rate past 8%
The seven-day average positivity rate is now at 6.84% and has been rising for the 13 consecutive days and is at its highest in nearly a month (it was 6.95% on September 27). This number was 5.88% the week before, and 5.49% the week before that.Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 01:30 IST
The positivity rate for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has started rising again in Delhi with 8.43% samples tested in the past 24 hours coming back positive, and new infections crossing the 4,000-mark for the third consecutive day as the resurgence of the viral outbreak in the Capital continued to worsen.
Daily positivity rate — the fraction of tests that return positive – touched the highest in 34 days, sending the weekly average positivity rate rising again. Positivity rate is a crucial metric as experts say it shows how widespread the virus is in the community, and when coupled with an increase new cases, indicates that the virus is spreading fast.
Cases, meanwhile, also continued to rise at an alarming rate – a total of 4,136 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Sunday, the highest single-day rise in infections in Delhi in 38 days, taking the total number infections in the Capital to 356,656. This rise in cases as well as the positivity rate is particularly worrisome because it comes right at the start of the festive season – a time of the year when people in the city tend to more socially active.
The rising graph of cases in the city -- days after it was starting to come under control -- is being attributed to more people coming out of their homes in the festive season, and poor mask discipline and lack of adherence to safety protocols due to Covid fatigue.
The seven-day average positivity rate is now at 6.84% and has been rising for the 13 consecutive days and is at its highest in nearly a month (it was 6.95% on September 27). This number was 5.88% the week before, and 5.49% the week before that.
According to recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), the positivity rate from a region that has a comprehensive testing programme should be at or below 5% for at least two weeks before it can be considered that the outbreak is under control there.
Delhi has never dropped below this threshold. The lowest the average positivity rate dropped in Delhi was for the week ending October 8 when it touched 5.34%, but has been rising again since.
The seven-day average of daily cases, also known as the case trajectory, has also seen a strong upward trend for the third time since the start of the pandemic in Delhi. It has now has been rising for 13 straight days – it has risen from 2,661 on October 12 to 3,663 on Friday – highlighting a clear trend in rise in new infections.
The Delhi government, however, said the situation is “contained” because they have prepared hospital beds and Covid facilities in the city to prepare for a larger surge during the winter.
“The Covid-19 expert committee led by [Niti Aayog member] Dr VK Paul had said that due to cold and festive season, cases [per day] can spike up to 12,000-14,000, but right now it’s around 4000 so the situation is contained. We are focused on containment, contact tracing and isolation to tackle the situation. Hence, no relaxation in restrictions unless the vaccine arrives. Masks and social distancing absolutely mandatory. We will continue taking strict precautions,” Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.