A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a man amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a testing center in New Delhi, India October 29, 2020. Photo Reuters/Anushree Fadnavis
New Delhi: Delhi reported 17 fatalities due to COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest in a day since June 13 last year, and added 22,751 cases to its tally of infections as the positivity rate soared to 23.53%, the city’s health department data showed.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the pace of the contagion in the city has been a matter of “deep concern” but there is no plan to impose a lockdown for now and urged people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour as well as get themselves vaccinated.
In isolation since January 4 after testing COVID positive, the chief minister said that he has recovered from the disease.
Delhi has logged 53 fatalities due to coronavirus this month so far. A total of 54 fatalities were recorded in the last five months — nine in December last year, seven in November, four in October, five in September and 29 in August.
The 22,751 fresh cases reported on Sunday are the highest since May 1 last year when 25,219 people were diagnosed with the disease. On June 13 last year, 23 deaths were reported in Delhi due to the disease.
The positivity rate of 23.53% was the highest after May 7 last year when it was 24.9%.
Delhi currently has 60,733 active cases, of which 35,714 are in home isolation.
As many as 1,618 Covid patients are in hospitals. Of them, 44 are on ventilator support, government data showed. Of the 14,222 Covid-dedicated beds in hospitals, 1,800 (12.66 per cent) are occupied.
A total of 96,678 tests, including 79,954 RT-PCR ones, were conducted the previous day.
The Delhi government has been stressing that most cases this time are mild or asymptomatic and do not require hospitalisation.
In a bid to stymie the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant, the city government has already announced a host of restrictions, including night and weekend curfews.
According to officials, the low hospital bed occupancy rate is the reason the authorities have not implemented the restrictions prescribed under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
Health minister Satyendra Jain had earlier said authorities devised different levels of restrictions and alerts under the GRAP keeping in view the severity of the infection caused by the Delta variant of the virus.
However, the severity and the hospitalisation rate this time is quite low, he had said.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority, which devises COVID management strategy for the capital, will hold a crucial meeting on Monday.
Earlier in the day, chief minister Kejriwal said there is no plan to impose a lockdown as of now in the city, and that there will be no need for it if people wear masks.
“Rising COVID cases are a matter of concern but there is no need to panic. Very few people are getting hospitalised. Wearing a mask is very important. There will be no lockdown if you continue to wear a mask. There is no plan to impose a lockdown as of now,” he said.