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Consider masks as vaccine, says Jain as cases rise in Delhi

Delhi reported 5,891 new cases of Covid-19 – the highest single-day spike so far – Friday, taking the total number of people affected with the virus to 3,81,644. With 47 deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll increased to 6,470.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | Updated: October 31, 2020 8:23:52 am
delhi coronavirus latest update, delhi covid 19 update, delhi coronavirus cases rise, delhi covid deaths, delhi city news, Satyendar JainAt Sadar Bazar, Friday. Covid fears have failed to deter crowds at city markets as festival season picks up. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

With the city reporting over 5,000 Covid-19 cases three days in a row, Health Minister Satyendar Jain Friday emphasised the importance of wearing face masks, saying people should consider them as a “vaccine” against the virus till the time one is available.

Delhi reported 5,891 new cases of Covid-19 – the highest single-day spike so far – Friday, taking the total number of people affected with the virus to 3,81,644. With 47 deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll increased to 6,470.

“The spread of the virus can be stopped to a large extent if everyone wears a mask. People should consider masks as a vaccine till there is one. It has more benefits than a lockdown,” Jain said.

The daily positivity rate rose to 9.88% from Thursday’s 9.55%, with authorities testing 59,641 people. Positivity rate, which is the percentage of people testing positive for the virus from among those who were tested, explains the spread of the disease among the population.

Over the last three days, the capital has reported 17,303 new cases — almost 4.53% of the total infections. The Delhi government cited its new strategy, involving aggressive contact tracing and testing, as one of the reasons behind the sudden surge in the number of infections.

According to sources, districts have been advised to ramp up contact tracing and see if they are in need of any more resources.

On Friday, the Health Minister said officers have been advised to trace all contacts of positive cases. “The districts have been told to find deficiencies within the system and, if required, come up with suggestions. Many districts are already facing a staff crunch as all healthcare workers have been exhausted to the full capacity. Officers have been told to aggressively reach out to each contact of patients who test positive,” said a senior official from the state health department.

The Union Health Ministry, however, has attributed the rise to social gatherings during festivities, deteriorating air quality, and increasing incidence of respiratory disorders.

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