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In view of the surging Covid-19 cases, routine/elective surgeries in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital has been suspended till further orders, said the Delhi government on Thursday. 

Prior to this, Safdarjung Hospital had decided to curtail elective surgeries as Delhi's positivity rate surged to 25%.

This comes as experts said during the day that one cannot conclude the peak of the ongoing wave of the pandemic is over in Delhi solely on the basis of hospital admission data.

Hospitalisation due to the virus has remained relatively low in the city, and health minister Satyendar Jain has said that the plateauing of hospital admissions indicates that the ongoing wave has peaked and cases may go down soon.

However, according to noted epidemiologist Dr Chandrakant Lahariya it cannot be predicted that the city is past the peak Covid-19 fresh cases. 

The reason is that people get admitted to the hospital only some days after they have developed the disease, Lahariya said. "So, there is a lag of six to seven days."

"The number of daily cases and the positivity rate should be used to determine the peak. Hospitalisation depends on the criteria adopted for admission (in a particular region). Of course, hospitalisation is an important parameter for public health planning purposes, but not for describing a peak," he added.

Director of the National Institute for Implementation Research on Non-Communicable Diseases, Jodhpur, Dr Arun Sharma said: "Epidemiologically, the peak of a wave is determined with the help of the rate of transmission, the number of infected people and the uninfected susceptible population. It can be plotted on a graph but the ground reality is always different from epidemiological modelling."

The positivity rate is the most important factor because the number of cases may increase or decrease depending on the number of tests conducted, he said.

"Only when the test positivity rate start declining, we would know we have passed the peak," Dr Sharma said.

Covid situation in city 

Delhi on Thursday reported 28,867 Covid-19 cases, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic, and 31 deaths, while the positivity rate surged to 29.21%.

According to the data, Thursday's positivity rate is the highest since 3 May, when it was 29.6%.

A total of 164 Covid deaths have been recorded in the first 13 days of January. Most of these patients had comorbidities, according to government data.

The capital saw 130 fatalities in the last six months -- nine in December, seven in November, four in October, five in September and 29 in August. In July, Covid claimed 76 lives in the city.

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