DDMA to huddle today as Delhi logs 632 Covid cases

Published on Apr 20, 2022 05:20 AM IST

Tuesday’s fresh infections came on the back of 14,299 tests, of which 4.42% samples turned positive . This number, known as the test positivity rate, was 7.72% on Monday.

Visitors are seen not wearing face masks at Sarojini Nagar Market, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)
Visitors are seen not wearing face masks at Sarojini Nagar Market, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)
By, New Delhi

The Capital on Tuesday added 632 cases of Covid-19 but there were no new deaths or hospitalisations, the state’s health bulletin showed, a day before the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) was scheduled to meet and review the city’s pandemic situation.

Tuesday’s fresh infections came on the back of 14,299 tests, of which 4.42% samples turned positive . This number, known as the test positivity rate, was 7.72% on Monday.

Experts have said the test positivity rate as a metric is less reliable now since most of the tests are targeted towards those with symptoms, who are more likely to have the virus. The city, however, is likely to bring back random testing and increase the number of swabs being taken this week.

Senior officials of the Delhi government’s health department said authorities are keeping a close watch on the case trajectory and are well prepared to handle a surge -- at present, they added, the situation is well under control since less than 1% of the city’s Covid-19 beds are occupied.

Senior officials said DDMA is, in its Wednesday meeting, likely to take a decision on reintroducing the city’s mask mandate, after Haryana and Uttar Pradesh issued orders asking NCR districts to make masking mandatory again, with Haryana announcing bringing back a fine for violators.

The authority is also likely to take a decision on the protocol for Covid-19 outbreaks in schools, which health experts have repeatedly warned should not be shut, arguing that closing institutions is an inefficient strategy to fend off outbreaks and would also only exacerbate learning gaps caused over the course of the pandemic.

Delhi government data shows hospitalisations in the city have remained stagnant, even as the cases have spiked. For instance, on Tuesday, 80 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals, leaving 99.18% of the 9,737 Covid-19 beds in hospitals vacant. Covid Care Centres and Health Centres continued to remain vacant. Data showed that 1,274 patients were being treated at home.

Health experts said the government needs to be cautious in the coming days and stress on Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially in crowded indoor places “Personally, we are also seeing more people coming in with Covid symptoms now and this could be because of normal activity resuming in the city. We have to, however, stress on masking. This can be beneficial especially in protecting the vulnerable sections,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant (internal medicine) at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

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