Delhi authority to meet on Tuesday amid spike in Covid cases

Delhi reported 4,099 fresh Covid infections on Monday as the positivity rate surged to 6.46%, both at their highest levels since May 18, when the city logged 4,482 fresh cases at a test positivity rate of 6.89%
School students wait to get a Covid vaccine at a government school in Delhi. (Amal KS/HT Photo)
School students wait to get a Covid vaccine at a government school in Delhi. (Amal KS/HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 04, 2022 06:17 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will meet on Tuesday at 11am to review the prevailing Covid situation in the Capital, as the city’s test positivity rate surged past the 5% mark after 228 days.

Delhi reported 4,099 fresh Covid infections on Monday as the positivity rate surged to 6.46%, both at their highest levels since May 18, when the city logged 4,482 fresh cases at a test positivity rate of 6.89%.

The test positivity rate (the percentage of collected samples that return positive results) in Delhi stayed below 5% for 228 days since May 21, showed data from the state government. The statistic is a vital metric to understand the spread of an infection in a region. Experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend a positivity rate below 5% for two weeks, before an outbreak can be considered under control.

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal will chair the DDMA’s Tuesday meeting, which will be attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and top officials and experts. The body is likely to discuss and consult experts on whether the Capital needs more restrictions to check the sharp surge. “The government has been closely monitoring the situation. A decision on imposing more restrictions will be taken only after it is established that they are necessary. Even though the cases have increased and positivity rate has shot up, around 96% hospital beds are still vacant,” said an official who is aware of the matter.

Currently, Delhi is under a ‘Yellow Alert’, the first level of restrictions under the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap), even as the city has hit the positivity rate requirement for the highest level Red Alert, which mandates a complete lockdown.

Under ‘Red Alert’, a complete curfew will be imposed, the Delhi Metro will be closed, only essential private offices will be permitted to open, and malls will be closed. Essential shops will be allowed to operate and only standalone non-essential shops will be allowed to operate between 10am and 6pm.

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