Covid-19 test positivity rate drops below 8% in Delhi
Delhi on Saturday added fewer than 5,000 new cases of Covid-19 for the first weekday in over a month, despite a record number of gold-standard RT-PCR tests conducted in a single day, with the Capital’s test positivity rate falling below 8% for the first time since the third week of October.
The Capital logged 4,998 new infections as per Saturday’s daily health bulletin, which records data primarily from a day earlier, on the back of a record 69,051 new tests, up significantly from 64,455 the previous day.
Most of these additional tests were conducted using the more accurate reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method as per Saturday’s bulletin, which shot up from 28,100 the previous day to 33,147 — 48% of all tests conducted in Delhi on the day.
The Delhi government aims to ramp up Covid-19 testing to between 100,000 and 120,000 a day, with an eye on performing half of these using the RT-PCR and other molecular methods such as TrueNAT and CBNAAT.
As the numbers were released on Saturday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Since 7 Nov, cases and positivity in Delhi are going down. Today, less than 5000 cases, 89 deaths and 7.24 positivity. Hope this trend continues. Delhiites and Delhi govt together will win over this third wave also. Pl continue to observe all precautions.”
As a result of the drop in daily new cases and added tests, the positivity rate also dipped to 7.24%, the lowest since October 23. This number had shot up to 15.33% on November 15.
Daily deaths dropped below 90 for the first time on Saturday in 16 days. With 89 deaths reported on Saturday, Delhi’s toll inched closer to 9,000. Till Saturday, 8,998 people had died of the infection in the city.
“Although the number of cases is going down, I do not think it will go down to levels in August before the second and third surge in cases. With temperatures going down and pollution, there will likely be more cases in coming months,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the department of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research.