Over 24K fresh COVID-19 cases, 249 deaths in Delhi; positivity rate 31 per cent

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New Delhi, Apr 21 (PTI) Delhi logged 24,638 fresh COVID-19 cases and 249 deaths due to the viral disease on Wednesday while the positivity rate stood at 31.28 per cent, meaning almost every third sample tested positive, amid a growing clamour for oxygen and hospital beds in the city.

Only 18 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients were available in hospitals across Delhi at 11 pm, according to government data.

On Tuesday, the city had recorded 28,395 cases and 277 fatalities, both highest since the outbreak of the pandemic. The positivity rate was 32.82 per cent, also the highest so far.

The city has reported over 1,350 deaths due to the deadly virus in the last seven days.

On Monday, Delhi had recorded 23,686 cases with a positivity rate of 26.12 per cent and 240 fatalities. It registered 25,462 fresh cases with a positivity rate of 29.74 per cent on Sunday.

On Saturday, 24,375 COVID-19 cases and 167 deaths were reported in the city. The national capital had recorded 161 deaths on Sunday, 167 on Saturday, 141 on Friday and 112 on Thursday.

With the fresh cases, the national capital's cumulative tally has risen to 9,30,179 and the death toll stands at 12,887, according to the latest health bulletin.

A total of 78,768 tests, including 45,088 RT-PCR tests, were conducted the previous day, the bulletin said.

So far, over 8.31 lakh patients have recovered in Delhi. The number of active cases in the city reduced to 85,364 from 85,575 the day before, it added.

The number of people under home isolation increased to 42,768 from 40,124 on Tuesday while that of containment zones mounted to 19,624 from 17,151 the day before, it said.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Haryana government of blocking medical oxygen supply to Delhi, where hospitals are scrambling to save lives of coronavirus patients amid a shortage of the gas.

The Haryana government vehemently refuted the allegations, underlining that no one in the administration had hampered anything.

Several hospitals in Delhi alleged that the Haryana government was not allowing vendors to supply oxygen to them and there was only limited stock left.

In the evening, the Centre raised Delhi's quota of oxygen from 378 metric tonnes (MT) to 480 metric tonnes in view of the increased consumption.

However, the Delhi government has been demanding that its quota be increased to 700 MT. PTI GVS DIV DIV