With 5,673 new coronavirus cases, Delhi records its highest single-day spike
Delhi has crossed another grim landmark of recording over 5,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. On Wednesday, 5,673 new cases of the viral infection were reported in the daily health bulletin.
The 4,853 cases reported on Tuesday were highest so far. Before that, 4,473 new cases reported on September 16 had been the highest number of cases in the city during the second surge. The city had seen the first surge in cases in June-July, when the union home ministry had stepped in to control the spread of the infection. An expert committee headed by NITI Ayog member Dr VK Paul had said that the number of cases in Delhi could go up to 15,000 a day during the winter months.
The positivity rate – proportion of samples that returned positive among those tested – also tipped over 9%. This happened for the first time since the first week of September when Delhi was conducting only about 20,000 tests a day.
Once the government tripled it to about 60,000 a day, the positivity rate had dipped. However, when the testing was scaled up, most of the tests were done using the rapid antigen method which is cheap, easy to deploy in clinics, and gives results in 15 minutes. However, it is also more likely to throw false negatives for people who might actually have the infection.
The number of cases in the city started increasing again in October as the government scaled up the more reliable RT-PCR tests. On Wednesday, over 17,000 RT-PCR tests were conducted in the city for the very first time.
“We are now testing people in a targeted manner. If one person tests positive, we are looking for all his family members and contacts and getting them tested. This strategy is being closely monitored. What we have seen is that if one person tests positive, usually several members of the same family test positive. This is the reason that the positivity rate has gone up,” Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain had said on Tuesday during a media interaction.