Covid-19 cases in Delhi rising even as coronavirus testing yet to reach full capacity

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Published: June 12, 2020 6:06 PM

Currently ranked third among the most affected states/UTs, the national capital has tested only 4,853 samples on an average per day during June 1-9 against its sanctioned Covid-19 testing capacity of 8,000 samples per day.

The city had first achieved the per day testing capacity of 4,000 in mid-March.The city had first achieved the per day testing capacity of 4,000 in mid-March.

Even as Delhi has become the new hotspot of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the national capital is yet to reach its full Covid-19 testing capacity.

As of June 11, the city in its 40 affiliated labs—17 public and 23 private—has carried out 271,516 tests; of which 34,687 cases found positive, with the positive rate at 12.77%.

Currently, the city has a total sanctioned Covid-19 testing capacity of 8,600 per day, according to the Delhi government’s data. However, the average per day coronavirus sample testing during month till June 9 stood at just 4,853, way below the per day testing capacity. The city had first achieved the per day testing capacity of 4,000 in mid-March.

Even though the city along with the whole country was under lockdown for more than two months from March 25, the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the national capital; with 34,687 cases, it is now ranked third among the worst affected states/Union Territories in the country, just behind Maharashtra (97,648) and Tamil Nadu (38,716).

As the country opens up slowly, in a phased manner, there are enough signs indicating towards a burst in the number of coronavirus cases in the coming days.

In a video conference recently, Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia had said, the city will see 100,000 positive coronavirus cases by June end and over 5.5 lakh cases by July 31, while urging hospitals to ramp up adding Covid-19 beds. With number hitting new highs every day, Chief Arvind Kejriwal has said the city will need 80,000 covid beds by July-end.

As the burden of cases increases, the Delhi government on June 2 had decided not to test asymptomatic patients. However, after the intervention of L-G Anil Baijal on June 8, testing started for both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.

According to the data from Delhi’s health department, while there were 42,833 samples tested between May 23 and 31, with a positivity rate of 17.56%, 43,681 samples tested between June 1 and 9 showed a much higher positivity rate of 26.24%. And, more than 2,300 samples collected between June 1 and 9 were pending for testing at different labs in the city.

On Friday, Delhi’s health minister Satyendra Jain said lockdown won’t be extended in the city. With opening up of shops, markets and offices, maintaining social distancing will be difficult, which can lead to a further increase in coronavirus cases.

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