Delhi has not reported any new Covid-19 case of the Omicron variant in the last four days, even as West Bengal surged past to become the state with the second-highest confirmed cases of the variant.
Delhi has so far reported 549 Omicron cases, following Maharashtra with the highest of 1,738 cases, West Bengal (1,672) and Rajasthan (1,276). Across India, 8,209 Omicron cases have been reported.
Meanwhile, Delhi on Sunday reported 18,286 Covid-19 cases and 28 deaths as per the daily health bulletin.
Early on after the Omicron variant was first detected in India in December, Delhi and Mumbai recorded the highest number of cases. The Omicron variant can be detected only by sequencing the viral genome and only a proportion of the Covid-positive samples are sequenced to track the trends in the transmission of variants. Till December-end, Delhi sequenced all its positive samples when the number of Covid cases was low.
The Delhi health minister had said that 81 per cent of the samples sequenced on the New Year’s weekend were of the Omicron variant. Once it was clear that the new variant was driving the surge in cases, the government stopped sequencing all samples, sticking with a couple of hundreds of them.
Despite the lower Omicron numbers, Delhi has been reporting thousands of new Covid-19 cases each day. There has been a decline in the absolute number of cases as well as the test positivity rate (TPR). More than one in four persons getting tested (above 25 per cent) is found to have the Covid-19 infection in the capital, not surprising as only symptomatic persons get tested now.
The new ICMR guidelines have resulted in fewer cases being detected as testing on demand by asymptomatic persons has been done away with. The new guidelines also state that only high-risk contacts will be tested instead of all contacts of a positive case.