January 6, 2022 3:15:20 pm
Hours before the daily bulletin issued by the health department was finalised, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Thursday said the total number of new cases of Covid-19 is expected to breach the 14,000-mark while the positivity is likely to be between 13 per cent and 14 per cent.
In a video briefing, he confirmed none of the deaths due to Covid-19 in Delhi are due to the new Omicron variant.
“The data is being compiled but it seems the number of cases will cross 14,000 and the positivity rate will be around 13 per cent to 14 per cent in today’s health bulletin which will be released in the evening,” said Jain.
On being asked about the eight deaths recorded Wednesday — the highest single-day toll since June-end — Jain said, “I would still say that the disease is mild. We have spoken to doctors in Mumbai and even our experienced doctors say the same. Yesterday [Wednesday] there were around 300 deaths in the country.”
He added, “The last time when there were around 10,000 cases on a single day in Delhi, there were about 150 to 200 deaths. This time, that is not the case.”
Delhi had reported 48 deaths on the day when the single-day spike had crossed the 10,000-mark during the second wave triggered by the Delta variant of the virus. The death toll had further climbed to 308 in a single day when the number of cases were waning in the city.
“None of the deaths (in Delhi) so far have been in confirmed as Omicron cases,” said Jain Thursday. However, the government currently is not sequencing all samples to check whether the infection is caused by the Omicron variant. For four months, till the recent surge in cases, Delhi was going for genome sequencing of almost all positive samples. By last weekend, over 81 per cent of the samples sequenced were found to be infected with the Omicron variant, showing that the variant of concern is driving the recent surge in cases.
“The purpose of sequencing is to see whether Omicron has come to the country and whether it is spreading. Now that we know that Omicron is spreading in the community, genomic sequencing is not that relevant. We are still sequencing a few hundred samples,” he said.
The minister also assured that there will be no lockdown at the moment as the government is comfortable with the availability of beds in Delhi. “There is a huge difference between the current and the previous waves. Last time when we had 30,000 active cases, there were about 6 to 8 thousand hospital beds occupied. As of yesterday, there were 782 people in the hospitals. Till yesterday, we had 9,000 Covid beds, now we have 12,000. The situation is comfortable so there is no need for a lockdown at the moment. However, just to be safe, a weekend curfew has been implemented. But we need people to follow all Covid appropriate behaviour to prevent the infection from spreading,” Jain said.
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