COVID-19: Delhi records 121 deaths, 6,746 fresh cases

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New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Delhi recorded 6,746 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday and a positivity rate of 12.29 per cent while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,391, authorities said.

These fresh cases came out of the 54,893 tests conducted on Saturday, including 23,433 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

On Friday, authorities had said 23,507 RT-PCR tests, the highest till date, were conducted a day before.

The highest single-day spike till date here -- 8,593 cases -- was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.

As many as 121 fatalities were recorded on Sunday.

This is the fifth time in the last 11 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark.

Authorities reported 111 deaths on Saturday, 118 on Friday, 131 on November 18, the highest till date, and 104 fatalities on November 12.

The active cases tally on Sunday stood at 40,212 as compared to 39,741 on Saturday.

The bulletin said that the total number of cases has climbed to 5,29,863 of which 4,81,260 have recovered.

The number of containment zones in Delhi rose to 4,697 on Sunday from 4,633 on Saturday.

According to the Sunday bulletin, of the total number of 17,365 beds in COVID hospitals, 7,947 are vacant.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had earlier said the gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate is a 'clear indicator' that the spread of the virus is decreasing in the national capital.

'The positivity rate was 15.26 per cent on November 7. It is less than 11 per cent now. The maximum number of cases (8,593) were reported on November 10,' he had said.

The AAP government had on Thursday increased the fine for not wearing masks from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 and directed private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for coronavirus patients.

Private hospitals have also been directed to increase the percentage of non-ICU COVID-19 beds from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked hospitals to postpone non-critical planned surgeries for the time being.

The government also said that it will increase the number of RT-PCR tests to 27,000 a day in the national capital and MBBS students and interns will be engaged to tackle the COVID-19 situation.

The sudden spike in cases came amid the festive season and rising pollution level.

While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, Diwali was celebrated on November 14 and Chhath on November 20-21.

The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

The number of tests done per million as on Friday was over 3 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 58 lakh. PTI GVS RHL