NEW DELHI: Twenty fatalities due to the coronavirus infection have been reported in Delhi in the first six days of January, according to official figures.
Eight of these deaths were registered on January 5, amid a massive surge in Covid cases, largely driven by the Omicron variant.
According to the health bulletin issued on Thursday, the death toll due to the coronavirus infection in Delhi stood at 25,127. The death tally on December 31 was 25,107.
On Thursday, the daily case count was 15,097 at a positivity rate of 15.34 per cent and six deaths were recorded. Delhi reported one Covid death each on January 1, January 2 and January 3; three on January 4; eight on January 5; and six on January 6, according to office figures.
On Thursday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had told reporters that no death due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the national capital yet.
And, while cases are surging day by day, the situation in the city did not warrant a lockdown yet, he had said.
The huge spike in fresh cases over the past several days here is being recorded amid a significant jump in cases of the new Omicron variant of the virus.
This single-day spike recorded on Thursday was the highest since May 8, 2021 when 17,364 cases were reported with a positivity rate of 23.34 per cent.
As many as 332 deaths were also recorded on that day. Meanwhile, health experts have cautioned that as far as the surge in coronavirus cases are concerned, "it's a wildfire right now".
"This is expected to last at least over two months, and the patients' footfall in our hospital has increased phenomenally in the last few days.
Since the number of cases has seen a massive jump, more number of deaths is also being reported," said Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant at Apollo Hospitals here. He said that in the past two days he has seen about 35 Covid patients.
Chatterjee, who was infected with the virus, said, "All kinds of patients are coming to the hospital, young, old, children, double vaccinated ones, those who had Covid but recovered and then got vaccinated; and even those who have had a booster dose abroad, are testing positive. It's a wildfire right now".
On the increase in death count, he said the government has "not made public" which variant of the virus was present in the people who have died due to Covid in the last one week.
"So, sooner or later, the government might share more information about these fatalities taking place during the surge to take decisions to combat this pandemic as also give treating doctors some window into the way this virus is currently behaving," the doctor said.
Jain on Thursday had also asserted that Delhi was in a comfortable position in terms of hospital bed occupancy. The city government has significantly ramped up coronavirus testing capacity. And, nearly 98,500 Covid tests were conducted a day ago, the Thursday health bulletin showed.
The single-day rise in coronavirus infections was recorded above one lakh after 214 days, taking India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,52,26,386 which includes 3,007 cases of Omicron reported across 27 states and union territories, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 876 Omicron cases, followed by Delhi at 465, Karnataka 333, Rajasthan 291, Kerala 284 and Gujarat 204.
During the height of the second wave of the pandemic, 28,395 cases, the highest-ever single-day tally here, and 277 deaths were recorded in Delhi on April 20 last year, according to official figures.