As Covid-19 cases rise, Delhi health minister Jain warns of another peak
With the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) spreading at a fast pace in the state, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday expressed concerns that the new cases may cross the previous record of 8,593 recorded on November 11 last year.
“In Delhi, where less than 200 cases were being reported each day for two to three months, the number has crossed the 5,000 mark within three weeks. The pace at which the cases are increasing, we worry that it might break the previous record. We cannot say anything for sure, but many other states have a higher positivity rate than Delhi,” said Jain.
“Delhi’s positivity rate is 5%, it’s 25% in Maharashtra and 16% in Chhattisgarh; many states have a positivity of over 10%. If the positivity rate in Delhi increases to that level, think about the situation we will be in,” he added.
Delhi reported 5,506 cases on Wednesday after conducting over 90,000 tests, putting the positivity rate at 6.10%. This is the highest positivity rate the city has seen since December 1. The city also saw 20 deaths on Wednesday.
The government has already directed officials to increase the number of beds in 11 government and 54 private sector hospitals. The city has already added over 2,000 beds in the last two to three days and another 2,000 are likely to be added in the next couple of days, taking the total number of available beds for Covid patients to around 10,000.
The government has also instituted a night curfew between 10pm and 5am. “There were reports of people partying. What happens when people gather in large numbers and are in close contact unnecessarily? Even if one person is positive and 50 people have gathered, all of them get it. The measure is not for a long time, but for a short while to control the number of cases. We will see what the impact of the night curfew is. It is not a harsh step. People usually finish all their work before 10pm. This step is between a complete lockdown and complete relaxation,” said Jain.
He also informed that 84,213 Covid vaccine shots were administered till 10 pm on Tuesday, of which 75% were given in government centres and 25% in private hospitals.
“People over the age of 45 years need the vaccine more, but those between 18 and 45 are getting infected now. It is spreading among them because they are mobile. They are not getting a severe disease but they spread it to their parents, grandparents,” the minister said.