Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said the testing capacity for COVID-19 has reached the “saturation level” in the national capital and laboratories here are finding it difficult to release results of all RT-PCR tests within a day.
As many as 61,778 tests, including 26,080 RT-PCR — the highest till date for the city — and 35,698 rapid antigen tests, were conducted on Tuesday for the detection of COVID-19.
“The testing has reached the saturation level… Many people now say they were tested just two to three days ago,” Mr Jain told reporters.
The minister said the government had issued directions to increase the number of RT-PCR tests to 35,000, but the laboratories are now finding it difficult to release all test results within a day.
“This is one new problem that has emerged,” he added.
Mr Jain said the positivity rate came down to 8.49 per cent on Wednesday, the lowest since October 28, from 15.26 per cent on November 7.
The number of unoccupied beds has also increased to 9,138 from 7,844 four days ago. The number of ICU beds available has also risen to 1,057 in the last few days, he said.
More than 50 per cent beds reserved for coronavirus patients are vacant in Delhi hospitals, he said.
Delhi recorded 5,246 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as the positivity rate declined to 8.49 per cent, while 99 more fatalities pushed the city’s death count to 8,720.
It was after five days that the national capital recorded single-day death count below 100.
The city had recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11.
Authorities reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 on November 24.
As many as 131 COVID-related deaths had been recorded on November 18, the highest till date, and 104 fatalities on November 12.