Delhi Thursday recorded 1,313 fresh Covid cases, the highest single-day spike since May 26, as the positivity rate mounted to 1.73 per cent, with Health Minister Satyendar Jain cautioning that the new coronavirus variant Omicron is gradually spreading in the community.
The daily case count breached the 1,000-mark after a gap of seven months. On May 28, the city had logged 1,141 cases.
On Wednesday, 923 cases were recorded with a positivity rate of 1.29 per cent, as per officials figures. The positivity rate had breached the one per cent-mark after a gap of seven months.
The daily cases count surged to 1,313 on Thursday with an increased positivity rate of 1.73 per cent, as per the latest health bulletin. No fresh death has been recorded.
This rise is the highest since May 26 when 1,491 cases were logged with a positivity rate of 1.93 per cent, while 130 deaths were also recorded on that day.
The huge spike in fresh cases over the last few days here is being recorded amid a significant jump in cases of new Omicron variant of Covid in Delhi.
In an online press briefing, Jain said Omicron is gradually spreading in the community and the new, fast-spreading variant of concern has been found in 46 per cent of the latest samples analysed in the national capital.
“These people include those who do not have any travel history. It means Omicron is now inside Delhi,” he said.
“Indeed, the variant is gradually spreading in the community and its proportion will increase in the coming days,” the minister said when asked if Omicron will be the dominant variant in a possible third wave of the pandemic.
According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, India recorded the highest single day rise of Omicron infections with 180 fresh cases, taking the total tally of such infections in the country to 961.
Delhi recorded the maximum number of 263 cases followed by Maharashtra at 252, Gujarat 97, Rajasthan 69, Kerala 65 and Telangana 62.
As per official figures, the number of coronavirus deaths in the national capital, logged in the month of December so far, stands at nine, the highest in the last four months.
The overall death toll due to the coronavirus infection in Delhi stands at 25,107.
On Tuesday and Monday, the daily cases tally had stood at 496 and 331 cases respectively, as per official data.
Jain said countries like the US and France have recorded their highest number of daily Covid cases amid the spread of Omicron “but the good news is that it does not cause severe infection and a very low number of patients need hospitalisation”.
Stringent curbs have been put in place as part of the Graded Response Action Plan for COVID-19 to check the spread of the infection and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will decide on implementing more restrictions, he added.
The Delhi government has maintained that it has been preparing on a “war-footing” to handle the situation in face of the threat of a third wave of the pandemic. The second wave had wrecked havoc in the capital city and across the country.
The Delhi government has set up a total of 350 isolation beds at four places, including at the Commonwealth Games village, for international travellers, their contacts and Omicron cases, according to an official order on Thursday.
Active cases in Delhi on Thursday stood at 3,081, up from 2,191 on Wednesday.
Amid a jump in cases of the latest variant in Delhi, doctors had recently cautioned that people should avoid all gatherings and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, else the pandemic situation may worsen given the highly transmissible nature of this variant of coronavirus.
According to Thursday bulletin, of the 8,835 dedicated Covid beds in Delhi, 189 were occupied, including by suspected cases, 8,646 were lying vacant.
Also, 28 Covid positive passengers brought from the airport have been admitted in hospitals, it said, adding, in total 66 coronavirus patients were on oxygen support while one severe Covid patient was on ventilator.
The number of cumulative cases on Monday stood at 14,46,415. Over 14.18 lakh patients have recovered from the infection, as per the latest bulletin.
Seven COVID-19 deaths were reported here in November this year, according to official data. Delhi had recorded four Covid deaths in October and five in September.
A total of 75,953 tests — 68,590 RT-PCR tests and 7,363 rapid antigen tests — were conducted a day ago, the Thursday bulletin said.
The number of people under home isolation stood at 1,560 on Thursday while it was 1,068 a day before, and the number of containment zones in the city stood at 645 a significant jump from 502 on Wednesday, the bulletin said.