Tracing contacts of Covid patients has taken a hit in the city as the number of cases has risen over the past three weeks. According to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, contact tracing is now being done only for immediate contacts of patients.
“Earlier, in one case, contact tracing would be done for up to 600 people, and today, if we multiply 1,500 cases with 600, it gives us 9,00,000 people for contact tracing. So, tracing is being done only for immediate contacts and not for indirect contacts,” he said. Total cases in Delhi are now at 32,810.
The minister also said the virus was “here to stay till the next two-three years”.
Recently, several people who may have come in touch with Covid patients have been complaining that no one has reached out to them to ask if they have symptoms. Sources said the sheer number of cases that the city has seen over the past three weeks had put an end to tracing beyond those who live with the patient.
“The volume has increased. Earlier, tracing was done till the last person possible and would easily run into hundreds of calls. It was almost like an investigation. In some cases, CCTV footage was accessed to see if the patient was hiding any information. With over 1,000 cases emerging every day now, it is impossible to maintain the same level of tracing,” said the source.
Jain had said on Tuesday that of all the cases that are emerging now, the government was unaware about the source of infection in half.
The minister also said Wednesday that there was transmission in the community.
“There is transmission in the community, but if it is community transmission or not that can be declared by the Centre only. It is a technical term… The WHO had declared that the pandemic may be over by May 16, which has not happened. It still exists, and we have to take all steps and precautions to deal with it… Even active contacts of the cases are around 30,000-40,000,” he said.
Sources said several discussions regarding the possibility of another lockdown in the city has been discussed.
Jain, however, said it will not have any effect.
“When the lockdown was imposed, there were 100 cases across the country, and now that number has gone up to thousands. If we impose lockdown again, there will be no logic as cases will increase from around 2.5 lakh to 25 lakh despite the lockdown. We have learned from the lockdown, there were different perceptions regarding the lockdown. Some believed that the virus will be over in a month or two, and some believed that the virus will be over as and when temperature increases, but that did not happen. We have to learn to live with the virus, and it is here to stay till the next two-three years,” said Jain.
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