The capital reported 2,073 fresh cases of Covid-19 Wednesday, with the incidence crossing the 2,000-mark for the first time in 71 days since February 4 when there were 2,272 cases recorded as the omicron variant-driven wave was receding in the capital. The positivity rate — the proportion of samples tested that return positive — stood at 11.64% on Wednesday, according to the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government.
The average positivity rate over the last three days is 11.23%, which is also the highest since the third wave waned in the city.
Five deaths in Covid patients were also recorded on Wednesday, taking this month’s toll to 10 in three days. There were 50 deaths recorded in July, 50 in June, and 35 in May. This is the highest single-day toll reported in the city since July 3 when five deaths were reported. “Most of the deaths reported are in elderly people and those suffering from comorbid conditions,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant of internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo hospital.
With the increase in cases, the number of active cases, or those with current infection, as well as hospitalisations have up. The number of active cases Tuesday crossed the 5,000-mark to stand at 5,006. Similar levels were also seen at the end of June when there was a slight uptick in the number of cases.
The number of people hospitalised also crossed the 300-mark on Tuesday, with 341 people admitted to city hospitals with the viral infection.
“There has been a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the city. We used to see, say two to three admissions a day, the numbers have more than doubled in the last few days to six to seven admissions a day,” said Dr Atul Gogia, senior consultant of internal medicine at Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
He said the government’s report no longer reflected the true burden of cases in the city, with many either not getting tested at all or using home kits for testing. The total number of tests in the city went down after the third wave as home kits became readily available.
“It cannot capture all cases that are happening because many people are not getting tested at all or using home kits. These are not reflected in the report. Some patients come to us with symptoms and their family member or friend has tested positive then we can assume that they also have the infection,” Dr Gogia said, adding that it was important for those at high risk for severe diseases, such as the elderly and those with comorbidities, must get tested if they develop symptoms.
All through the ups and downs in Covid-19 cases seen after the January wave in Delhi, the symptoms have remained the same, with most patients being manageable at home. “The most common symptoms, just like the previous wave, are runny nose, sore throat, cough, body ache, and fever. Some people come in with diarrhoea as well. We hardly see, one-off patients probably, with loss of taste and smell,” said Dr Chatterjee.
He said that with the number of cases going up, there has also been an increase in admissions, mostly in elderly and comorbid people. “In fact, even in the few patients who do get pneumonia, it is not as severe as it was seen during the second wave. Their oxygen levels remain at say 91 or 92%,” Dr Chatterjee said.