Total Covid-19 tests in Capital cross 4 million-markUpdated: Oct 20, 2020, 00:09 IST
The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tests conducted in Delhi crossed the four million-mark, even as the number of tests dipped to just 36,000, according to Monday’s daily health bulletin. On average, over 55,000 tests were conducted each day during the week barring Sunday, higher than the average of 51,000 during the previous week.
The Capital added 2,154 cases of the infection, and conducted 36,445 tests in the 24-hour period pertaining to the Monday bulletin. To be sure, new cases and tests usually dip on Monday, owing to a lull on the weekend.
The bulletin also added 31 deaths on the day, taking the city’s total fatality count to 6,040.
In Delhi, after reaching a peak of over 4,400 cases being reported in a day during September third week, the numbers started dipping slowly, reporting fewer than 3,000 cases since early October. However, the numbers started increasing again when the government increased the number of more accurate RT-PCR [reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction] tests.
Rapid antigen tests are cheaper, easily deployed at clinics and dispensaries, and can give results within 15 minutes. However, they also tend to throw false negatives for people who might have the infection.
“Of course, if we do more RT-PCR tests, we will detect more cases as it is a more sensitive test. This is the reason it is suggested that the less sensitive rapid antigen tests be used in containment zones for screening cases, but the RT-PCR tests be used elsewhere,” said Dr Rajinder K Dhamija, professor of medicine and head of department of neurology at Lady Hardinge Medical College.
Experts, however, worry that there might be an increase in the number of cases after the festive season.
“There is likely to be an increase in the number of cases as people meet during the festive season. The increase in the number of cases will be seen 10 to 14 days after the festival. By then, it will also be the time for Diwali,” said Dr GC Khilnani, former head of the department of pulmonology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Dr Khilnani also warned that the increase in the pollution levels may cause more severe disease, with many needing treatment in intensive care units.