The positivity rate of Covid-19 dipped below 5 per cent in the national capital on Thursday, for the first time since October 7, after Delhi conducted a record number of tests in the last 24 hours.

Exactly 57 days ago on October 7, the positivity rate of new cases had fallen below 5 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

The capital city reported 3,734 new cases of the Covid-19 on Thursday, out of the 75,230 tests conducted in the past 24 hours. The positivity rate remained at 4.9 per cent. Meanwhile, 82 deaths were recorded in the same time period while 4,834 people recovered from the deadly disease in the same duration. The total tally of cases has reached 5,82,058 while the death toll has risen to 9,424.

Meanwhile, of the total 75,230 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, 33,298 were done through RT-PCR and 41,932 were Rapid Antigen Tests. The capital city has conducted 65,00,700 tests so far, according to a bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

The development has come just a day after Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain predicted the positivity rate to fall below 5 per cent. He had stated on Wednesday that the government sees the prospect of Covid-19 positivity rate going down to 5 pert cent in the next few days.

Delhi’s positivity rate, which had crossed 15 per cent on November 15, hovered in the 6-8 per cent range in the last one week.

However, while the positivity rate and the number of cases have gone drastically down in the last few days, the fatalities have still remained a matter of worry. In November alone, the capital city reported 2,663 deaths which was 29 per cent of the total fatalities Delhi saw since the pandemic started. Meanwhile, a 32.2 per cent rise in the tally of coronavirus cases was reported in November only.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Thursday submitted before a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that various issues – including ICU beds, testing, cremation of Covid bodies and fire safety standards at hospitals – are being monitored at the highest level.

Senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, representing the Delhi government, submitted that the designated testing agencies are also providing figures in connection with positivity rate. The bench, also comprising Justices R.S. Reddy and M.R. Shah, queried on the mechanism to check the figures which are coming out every day. The bench wanted to know if there are any mechanisms to cross-check these figures?

Viswanathan submitted that he would take instructions and then inform the court on the audit mechanism. He added that accredited agencies are giving these figures and the number of ICU beds in Delhi has increased to 5,010 while the government has also augmented the testing.

The Centre in an affidavit had blamed the poor approach of the Delhi government for the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital. However, Viswanathan during the hearing said both the Centre and the Delhi government “will together fight this out”.

The bench will hear the matter next on December 9.

–IANS

str/ss/arm