Covid spike in Delhi highest in a month, but hospitalizations are mostly flat

State data showed 795 new Covid-19 cases in Delhi on Saturday, with 4.11% of samples testing positive. This is the highest rate in nearly a month, prompting health officials to intensify the monitoring.

In several parts of the country – particularly Maharashtra and Kerala – the number of new cases has increased, while the gap between those who are eligible for their second and booster vaccinations and those who have actually taken them is widening.

According to a senior health official, who asked not to be named, “We’ll issue directions on bed augmentation in the next few days.”

According to experts and doctors, hospital admissions are not yet a cause for concern, and the trend does not yet point to a problem.

One of the 11 Covid patients at Lok Nayak Hospital, the largest Covid hospital in the city, is in “slightly critical” condition, according to Dr. Suresh Kumar.

“The patient who is critically ill has several pre-existing medical conditions. The other 10 patients are stable, and the infection is generally mild, said Dr Kumar.

A second expert said people should maintain their care despite such spikes.

There is a significant increase in cases in Delhi because people have become lax about following safety precautions; no one is wearing masks or using proper hand hygiene,” said Dr (Col) Vijay Dutta, senior consultant (internal medicine), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

Based on data analyzed by HT, a third factor can be addressed easily: pending vaccine doses. HT’s analysis of the Co-WIN dashboard found that at least 12% of those eligible for their second dose have delayed showing up, and at least 70.8% have not taken their booster dose.

For adequate protection against severe illnesses, a booster dose is crucial. After six months, vaccine efficacy largely wanes, making boosters imperative. A higher number of overdue second doses may exist in reality than was evident from the Co-WIN dashboard, where the data is too limited for such a calculation.

On Saturday, the number of cases was the highest since May 13 and the positivity rate was the highest since May 10. On these days, 899 cases were reported and the positivity rate was 4.38%.

As of Saturday, only 94 (0.98%) of the 9,587 beds reserved for Covid patients were occupied.

Abhishek Jha contributed to this report.

Soumya Pillai covers traffic and the environment in Delhi. She has been a journalist for three years, and her stories about Delhi are often influenced by her experiences in the city. She also enjoys writing about social innovation. See more.