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New cases, positivity rate coming down: Jain

New cases, positivity rate coming down: Jain

New Delhi: The gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate is a "clear indicator" that the spread of the virus is decreasing in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

The minister announced that government rates would apply for the normal, non-ICU beds reserved in private hospitals by the Delhi government for COVID-19 patients.

"The positivity rate was 15.26 per cent on November 7. It is less than 11 per cent now. The maximum number of cases (8,593) were reported on November 10," Jain said.

"The positivity rate has come down and the number of cases is also reducing gradually. It is a clear indicator that the spread of the virus is decreasing in Delhi," he told reporters.

The average death rate across the country is 1.48 per cent, and in Delhi, it is 1.57 per cent, Jain said, adding that it was around 3.50 per cent in June.

There is no harm in wearing a face mask inside a car, the minister said, appealing to the people of the city to ensure that they don't step outside without wearing one.

Jain said 2,644 normal beds and 260 ICU beds "extra" would be made available for COVID-19 patients in private hospitals after the government issued directions in this regard on Thursday.

The Delhi government on Thursday announced sweeping measures, including a steep Rs 2,000 fine for not wearing masks, reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals, doubling testing centres in every district and postponement of non-critical surgeries at health facilities.

Private hospitals have also been directed to increase the percentage of non-ICU COVID-19 beds from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

The government also said it will increase the number of RT-PCR test to 27,000 a day in the national capital and MBBS students and interns will be engaged to tackle the COVID-19 situation.

And as the restrictions come back for wedding gatherings, many banquet halls in the city and hotels have spoken of losing customers who had booked the venue keeping in mind earlier guidelines.

"This sudden restriction on the number of wedding guests permitted at venues has led to several people cancelling bookings which were made 5 or 6 months in advance. Rather than cancelling all their arrangements at the last minute, they're choosing to shift the venue to Gurgaon or Noida," the ITC Maurya said.

Santosh Kumar of Eldesia banquet hall in Saket said that almost 50 per cent of his clients have cancelled their bookings after the restrictions came back. "People who had booked the hall even for 100 guests are mostly choosing to cancel. We are facing heavy losses. Although we strictly allow only 50-people in our venue now, more than half of my clients don't want to spend so much money for a small scale event."

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