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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

No Covid lockdown in Delhi for now, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain

Delhi will, instead, go for a Graded Response Action Plan based on the number of Covid cases and positivity rate, Satyendar Jain added.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 6, 2021 5:40:54 pm
Delhi lockdown, Covid-19, Delhi covid, Satyendar Jain, Arvind Kejriwal, delhi health minister, lockdown, omicron, Delhi news, Delhi latest news, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairsDelhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain. (File)

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said Monday that there was no possibility of a lockdown in Delhi “at the moment” due to Covid cases. The city will, instead, go for a Graded Response Action Plan based on the number of cases and positivity rate, he added. The graded plan was finalised in July after the deadly second wave in April-May.

“There is no possibility of lockdown at the moment. The Delhi government will implement its Graded Response Action Plan if Covid cases rise. In this system, when the positivity rate reaches 0.5%, that is five are positive out of 1,000 people tested, then the first level of this system will be implemented. The second level will be implemented when we will reach a positivity rate of 1%, that is if 10 people test positive out of 1,000. The third level will be implemented at a positivity rate of 2%, when 20 people test positive out of a testing sample of 1,000 people; and the last stage or the Red level will be initiated when we reach a positivity rate of 5%, meaning that when 50 people test positive out of 1,000 tested. Last time, the Red level was implemented when we had reached a positivity rate of about 14-15%. However, at present, the cases of Corona in Delhi are much below 0.5%, so no lockdown will be imposed right now,” Jain said.

Delhi recorded 63 cases on Sunday, the highest in four months. The positivity rate stood at 0.11%. Delhi recorded its first Covid case caused by the Omicron variant on Sunday when a person who had travelled from Tanzania to India tested positive at the airport last week.

Jain said that 27 people from countries affected by the Omicron variant have been admitted at Lok Nayak Hospital so far. Of these, 17 have tested positive for Covid but only one has been infected by the Omicron variant. He said that most of the people admitted are asymptomatic.

“Everyone needs to be alert, as this is a very fast-spreading variant. It spreads even faster than the Delta variant. So we need to be more careful… Face masks are the only shield to prevent every variant of the virus. Everyone must wear a mask and those who did not get the second dose of the vaccine should get it as soon as possible. Only then will we be able to face Corona firmly,” he said.

He also reiterated Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s demand that flights from affected countries must be stopped from coming to India.

“The chief minister had written to the Centre appealing to stop flights coming from countries affected by the Omicron variant for some time but the Central government did not do so. Last time we appealed to the central government to stop the flights coming from abroad as soon as possible, but it delayed a lot in banning the flights, the result of which we have seen. Therefore, the central government must consider our suggestion and stop the flights. This is the easiest and most efficient way to avoid the Omicron variant. Delhi receives the most number of flights from abroad, so it is most at risk from this,” he pointed out.

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