Delhi records 7,340 new Covid-19 cases despite conducting fewer tests; death toll crosses 7,500

Experts say the number of coronavirus cases will increase after Diwali.

Delhi reported 7,340 new coronavirus cases (Covid-19) on Saturday despite conducting lower numbers of tests. The Delhi government conducted 49,645 cases on Friday, according to Delhi government’s Covid-19 bulletin, as compared to 56,553 tests on Thursday and 60,229 tests on Wednesday.

Delhi also reported 96 deaths due to Covid-19, taking the total toll of the viral infection in the city to over 7,500. As of Saturday, 7,519 people had died of the infection in Delhi.

Watch how India celebrated Diwali 2020 amid pandemic

“The increase in the number of deaths is not unexpected. There is always a lag between the spike in the number of cases and deaths. It’s the time between people getting diagnosed, hospitalised, and dying,” said Dr Rajinder K Dhamija, professor of medicine and head of the department of neurology at Lady Hardinge Medical College.

He further added, “Also, when the denominator — the number of cases — is huge, the number of deaths will also be more. But the case fatality ratio continues to be 1.57%.”

The case fatality ratio (CFR) — proportion of people who died among those who tested positive for the infection — however remained at 1.56%.

Experts suspect the number of cases to rise after Diwali.

“There was a slight dip in numbers, but it is too soon to say whether the infections have peaked. In fact, I think that it isn’t even a true decline. With Diwali around the corner, fewer people are likely to go get tested, and tomorrow many labs would also not work. We will see an increase on Monday again,” said Dr Vikas Maurya, director, department of pulmonology and sleep disorders at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.

Hospitals across Delhi are running out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds as the city experiences its third surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Almost 88% of the total ICU beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 remained occupied as of Saturday night, according to the government’s Delhi Corona app.

The number of beds are likely to increase from the current 3,484 ICU beds — with and without ventilators — after the high court allowed the Delhi government order to reserve 80% ICU beds in 33 major private hospitals. The Delhi government wrote to the Centre for 300 additional ICU beds for its hospitals.

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