Covid "Incidental" In 3 Deaths, Most Cases Of Fast-Spreading But Mild Variant
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that residents of the national capital don’t need to worry about the recent surge in Covid cases, as the government is prepared for any eventuality. 7,986 beds for Covid patients are ready in Delhi hospitals, he said, adding that the government has sufficient oxygen cylinders.
Only three deaths have been reported over the last four-five days. In all three patients, co-morbidities were “very severe” and it has been assessed that the fatality was due to co-morbidities and perhaps Covid was “incidental”, but one can’t say that, he said.
Mr Kejriwal said the XBB 1.16 variant of Covid is the predominant one at present, accounting for 48 per cent of all positive cases. “It spreads rapidly but is not severe,” he said, but this variant is infecting even those who are fully vaccinated. “On March 15, the daily case count was 42 and in 15 days it jumped to 295,” he said.
“We have been conducting mock drills,” he added.
Mr Kejriwal said the government has been testing sewage to pre-empt a possible return of the virus. All the cases are also being sent for genome sequencing to timely identify new variants if any, he said. “We had also conducted testing of samples drawn from sewage and, till mid-February, the Covid positivity result was zero. But in the last 15 days, some samples have turned out positive,” he said.
All Delhi government hospitals have been directed to maintain isolation wards for Covid patients, Mr Kejriwal further said.
The Delhi Chief Minister was addressing the media after a review meeting attended by all top officials.
Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had earlier also assured people that there was no need to panic since the hospitalisation rate was low.
“We reviewed the situation. We have asked hospitals to advise coronavirus tests to those who are symptomatic. People visiting hospitals should wear masks,” he had said.
In response to a query on regulations related to the use of masks, the Delhi chief minister added that no new guidelines had come from the Centre and, “as and when we will receive it, we will take action accordingly”.
The city has been witnessing an increase in the number of daily Covid cases over the last few days amid a sharp rise in H3N2 influenza cases in the country.
The number of fresh cases had seen a decline over the last few months in Delhi. It had dropped to zero on January 16, the first time since the pandemic broke out.
Delhi recorded 295 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with a positivity of 12.48 per cent, according to data shared by the Health department.
On Wednesday, the city had logged 300 cases, the first time since August 31, while the positivity had mounted to 13.89 per cent Two Covid-related deaths were also reported on Wednesday.
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