Delhi Covid-19 cases near 250, positivity rate inches to 0.5%

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Delhi’s daily Covid cases crossed the 200-mark for the first time since mid-June. On Saturday, the city reported 249 new cases, the highest since June 13 when 255 new cases were reported, as per data.

This week, over 144 cases were reported on average each day in comparison to over 70 cases last week and 51.4 cases on average the week before.
Not only has the absolute number of cases gone up, but the daily positivity rate also shot up to 0.43% on Saturday with 57,295 tests conducted — inching closer to the 0.5% mark.

The first level of restrictions under the government’s graded response action plan kicks in when positivity rate remains over 0.5% for two consecutive days, or cumulative new positive cases for the week touch the 1,500-mark, or occupancy of oxygen beds remains at 500 for a week.

Under this, shops in markets and malls dealing with non-essential goods and services will be allowed to open as per the odd-even formula from 10 am to 8 pm, while one weekly market will be allowed per municipal zone at half the vendor capacity.

Restaurants can operate at 50% capacity from 8 am to 10 pm, bars from 12-10 pm, also at 50% capacity. Delhi Metro and buses will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Delhi government offices can call 100% grade I officers, while private firms will be allowed to call 50% of staff between 9 am to 5 pm. Night curfew will come into effect under which movement of people will be restricted between 10 pm and 5 am.

Besides this, cinemas, banquet halls, auditoriums, spas, gyms and entertainment parks, gyms and yoga centres will be shut. There will be a complete ban on social/entertainment/religious/political/festival-related gatherings. Sports complexes, stadiums (except national/international sports events), entertainment parks will be shut.

Positivity rate up Positivity rate is an important marker of the spread of the infection, and although it has been below 0.1% almost constantly since mid-July in the city, it started increasing over the last 10 days.

To compare, the positivity rate at the beginning of March stood at 0.44% just before the second wave when over 28,000 cases were reported in a single day at the peak. By the end of March, it had shot up to 2.71% and by the end of April to 32.69%, as per data.

The increase in positivity rate has been despite an increase in the number of tests; the rate usually dips when there is an increase in tests. On average, more than 57,000 tests were conducted in the city each day in the last seven days. There were 53,505 tests conducted the week before.

There are only 221 hospitalised patients in the city as of Saturday. However, the number is likely to go up as the number of cases does.
Data also shows that Delhi has reported another death due to the infection, the fourth in a week. There were no deaths recorded in the 9 days before that.

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