The daily Covid-19 cases in Delhi have been on the rise over the last few days and the positivity rate has jumped from 0.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent in a week. On Friday, Delhi recorded 366 Covid cases in the last 24 hours with a positivity rate of 3.95 per cent – highest since February 3.
With the national capital witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the last two days, the Delhi government has said that it is closely monitoring the situation and has said stepped up the availability of medicines, hospital beds and oxygen capacity. Medical experts have asked for at least some of the Covid-19 restrictions including masks to be made mandatory again and have urged governments to be more generous with booster doses.
The daily Covid-19 cases in Delhi have been on the rise over the last few days and the positivity rate has jumped from 0.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent in a week. On Friday, Delhi recorded 366 Covid cases in the last 24 hours with a positivity rate of 3.95 per cent – highest since February 3. Delhi reported 325 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, 299 on Wednesday and 137 on Monday, according to health department data. On Thursday, the number of home isolation cases stood at 574 while 325 new coronavirus cases were recorded with a positivity rate of 2.39 per cent. There has been a rise of nearly 48 percent in the number of home isolation cases here in the last one week, according to official data.
Cases have shown an increase in other parts of North India too, including UP and Haryana. Haryana reported over 1,200 fresh Covid cases in over 14 days out of which over 1,000 infections were from Gurugram district, official data showed, while the Gautam Budh Nagar health department has said 33 more people, including the 10 children, have tested positive for the infection since Tuesday morning. The health department issued an advisory on reporting of school students in Noida catching Covid-19 or showing its symptoms in a preventive measure against the pandemic.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that there was no need to panic as hospital admissions are not increasing. Delhi health minister Satyender Jain has appealed to the people to get vaccinated at the earliest. “Wearing a mask while leaving the house can prevent most cases. Even though cases of Covid-19 have increased in Delhi, the number of patients admitted to hospitals is still normal. Apart from this, the XE variant has not been included in the list of ‘Variants of Concern’ by the World Health Organization. So there is no need to panic,” he said. Replying to questions at a press conference on Friday, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia said, “We have taken a very decentralised approach and asked the school to take a call. We haven’t asked the schools to shut down completely. We have advised the schools that if there are cases in a particular wing, then you shut down the entire wing of the school. We have also asked the schools to report any new cases to the directorate of education.”
Experts have advised governments to ramp up daily testing and intensify the drive for the administration of booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines. Laxity in wearing masks and following social distancing norms and increase in social gatherings and reluctance to vaccinate are contributing to the rising COVID cases, said Dr Sujata Kapoor, Gauri Hospital.
Arun Gupta, president of the Delhi Medical Council and a senior paediatrician at Fortis hospital told ET that caution was the way forward, not panic. “We have to be prepared that the virus will mutate and have different variants. At the same time, we need to focus on the precautions. The XE variant recently detected has not shown severity till now but is known to have more transmissibility. What is important right now is that more people get vaccinated, and booster doses have to be encouraged as many might not take them thinking Covid-19 is gone. If people are vaccinated and sufficiently boosted, they will be less vulnerable to Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday next week to discuss the prevailing Covid-19 situation, including the recent spurt in the number of cases. It is expected that the disaster body may also reconsider its earlier decision to lift the fine on not wearing face masks in public places as a lot of people have stopped using it despite the increase in infections. On April 2, the health department had removed the penalty over not wearing masks in public places.
Delhi government officials said nearly 37 thousand Covid beds and 10,594 COVID ICU beds have been prepared in the state and telemetry devices have been installed in liquid medical oxygen tanks in all private and government hospitals in Delhi.
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