Daily Covid tests lowest since November-end, Delhi records 12,527 cases

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Continuing a downward trend, the capital on Monday reported 12,527 fresh cases of Covid-19, over 6,000 fewer than seen the day before, as per the daily health bulletin. The positivity rate – or proportion of samples tested that returned positive – increased slightly to 27.99%.

Delhi also reported 24 Covid deaths on Monday, taking January’s total toll to 280.

The decline in the absolute number of cases, however, has been because of the fewer tests conducted on Sunday as reported in the next day’s bulletin. The number of tests conducted has been reducing in Delhi since the new ICMR testing guidelines were introduced, which do away with testing of asymptomatic persons on demand, low-risk contacts, and asymptomatic persons undergoing other procedures at hospitals.

Just 44,762 tests were conducted on Monday, which is the lowest since November 29 when 43,499 tests were conducted. There were 52,721 tests conducted on average every day in the last week of November, which was increased to 62,276 in December last week when Covid-19 cases started increasing after remaining low for over six months.

In the week before the new ICMR guidelines kicked in on January 10, 87,792 tests were conducted on average each day. In fact, the highest number of RT-PCR tests ever conducted in the city was on January 12 — It took a couple of days for the new guidelines to start reflecting in the number of tests — when 85,394 of the more accurate tests were conducted in the capital.

“Yesterday was Sunday so that could also be a factor, but the cases are going to be fewer today following the declining trend. There will be 4,000-5,000 cases fewer than yesterday,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain in an online briefing before the bulletin was out.

“The cases are definitely reducing for four days now and the advance indicator for the peak was that the hospitalisations were not going up.” The minister added that if the trend continues, outpatient services will be restarted in two of its biggest hospitals.

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