Delhi sees 628 new Covid cases today; presence of highly-transmissible BA.5 variant detected
Delhi reported 628 new Covid cases and three more deaths on Monday, according to data provided by the city's health department. The test positivity rate stood at 8.06 percent. Delhi's Covid case tally has reached 19,32,026 while the death toll stands at 26,256.
The fresh cases were detected out of 7,793 Covid tests conducted the previous day. The department had not issued a health bulletin on Sunday. On Saturday, the city saw six deaths due to COVID-19 while the positivity rate stood at 7.8 per cent.
On Friday, the city logged 1,447 Covid cases and one death, while the positivity rate was 5.98 per cent. Delhi had recorded 1,934 Covid cases and zero death on Thursday, while the positivity rate was 8.10 per cent. Of the 9,497 beds in city hospitals, only 299 are occupied, up from 291 two days ago, while the beds at the Covid care centres and the Covid health centres are lying vacant, the department said.
The BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron has been found in some samples collected from central, south and southeast Delhi between May and June 16, official sources said on Monday.
The findings were discussed at a meeting on June 17 by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), which reviewed the COVID-19 data to check the possibility of any new emerging variant or sub-variant and ascertain the reasons behind the breakthrough infections.
Almost five per cent of the samples genome sequenced from central and south east Delhi tested positive for the BA.5 sub-variant and nearly two per cent samples from south Delhi showed its presence.
Most of the samples were found to have the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.
According to experts, BA.5 is highly transmissible but does not lead to severe infection.
With a surge in COVID-19 infections in Delhi lately, hospitals have also been witnessing a slight increase in admissions, but most of these patients, doctors say, have co-morbid conditions.
There are 4,553 active COVID-19 cases in the capital. Of them, 3,636 patients are under home isolation. The city has 389 Covid containment zones.
On Monday last week, Delhi had logged 1,060 Covid cases while the positivity rate was 10.09 per cent. This was the highest case positivity rate recorded in the capital since January 24, when 11.8 per cent of the people tested had turned out to be positive.
Also, the single-day death toll of six was the highest since February 13, when 12 people had succumbed to the viral infection.
Despite the rise in the positivity rate, the city government has not implemented the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) since hospital admissions are low.
The GRAP came into force in August last year, stipulating measures to be taken by the government in accordance with the positivity rate and bed occupancy for the locking and unlocking of various activities.
Experts have said people lowering their guard and travelling during the vacation season are the main reasons behind the latest upward trend in the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi. The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi had touched the record high of 28,867 on January 13 during the third wave of the pandemic. The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic.
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