Updated: January 5, 2022 1:34:10 pm
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain has said that the National capital will report nearly 10,000 Covid-19 cases and the positivity will shoot up to 10 per cent in the daily bulletin to be released Wednesday evening. This implies that the daily tally of the viral infection has doubled in Delhi in just one day from the 5,481 cases reported on Tuesday.
The number of cases in the city has been rising sharply, increasing from less than 500 daily cases to nearly 10,000 in just eight days, the data shows. In the same period, the positivity rate – proportion of the total samples tested that return positive – has also shot up from less than 1% to nearly 10%.
“The fifth wave of Covid-19 has started in Delhi. There will be nearly 10,000 cases reported today in the health bulletin that will be released in the evening; the positivity rate is close to 10%. The only good thing is that most of the people seem to be getting mild disease,” said Jain in a video briefing.
With the increase in number of cases, Jain said that it was not possible to sequence the genomes of all patient samples as was being done for nearly four months. “It is not possible to sequence all genomes anymore. When there were 200 to 300 cases, we were sequencing 100% samples. The purpose of the genome sequencing is to understand whether omicron was spreading. Now we know that it is spreading, so genome sequencing is not relevant anymore. We are now sequencing only 300 to 400 samples a day,” he added.
The current wave – which is the third for the country – is being driven by the new heavily-mutated and highly immune-evasive Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2. The health minister had earlier this week said that 81 per cent of the samples sent for genome sequencing were found to be positive for the new variant. The Indian Express reported the same day that nearly 80 per cent of the Omicron cases did not have any history of international travel or contact with international travellers.
Giving details of the preparation for the current wave, the health minister said that the private hospitals were asked to reserve more beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. “Earlier, 10 per cent beds were earmarked at private hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19, we have now ordered that 40 per cent of the beds be earmarked as cases are going up. Hospitalisation usually goes up four to five days after the cases increase,” said Jain.
In the government sector, he said, there were over 650 beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 cases in both Guru Teg Bahadur and Lok Nayak hospitals. Both hospitals only have 15 to 20 patients admitted. “The occupancy in government hospitals for Covid-19 beds is just 2 per cent to 5 per cent, hence all other services are being continued normally,” he added.
Talking about the utilisation of Centre’s emergency Covid-19 funds, Jain said that Delhi was among the best, with the state government shelling out from its own pocket to prepare for the pandemic thereby utilising 138% of the funds. “Some states spent nearly 0%, the average was 17%. Delhi government spent from its own pocket, our spending was 138%,” said Jain. The Centre had released Rs 6,075 crore for the ECRP II.
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