The national capital and the commercial capital of the country are witnessing a major surge in Covid-19 infections. While Delhi reported 923 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, an 86% jump in infections from Tuesday and the highest since 30 May, Mumbai reported 2,510 fresh cases and one death in the last 24 hours. This triggered fears of a third wave arriving in these two cities. Overall, India reported 9,195 new coronavirus cases and 302 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday. The Ministry further said that there are 781 Omicron cases in India so far.
As per the bulletin of the Delhi Health Department, the active cases in the city have gone up to 2,191. There were 1,680 active cases on 25 June. Moreover, the positivity rate in the city scaled up to 1.29%, the highest since 28 May when it was 1.58. In the last 24 hours, 115 foreign travellers were tested for COVID-19. Those who have been tested positive have been admitted to hospitals. As many 200 COVID positive patients have been admitted to the hospital, of which 98 belong to other states. Out of 200 patients, 145 patients have mild symptoms and 55 patients are on oxygen-supported beds. However, the national capital did not report any COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours.
Currently, Delhi accounts for the highest number of Omicron cases (283) in the country, followed by Maharashtra (167), Gujarat (73), Kerala (65), Telangana (62), Rajasthan (46), Karnataka (34), Tamil Nadu (34), Haryana (12), West Bengal (11), Madhya Pradesh (9), Odisha (8), Andhra Pradesh (6), Uttarakhand (4), Chandigarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir (3), Uttar Pradesh (2), Goa (1), Himachal Pradesh (1), Ladakh (1) and Manipur (1).
In the entire country, the weekly positivity rate is at 0.68% and has remained less than 1% for the last 45 days now, said the Ministry of Health. The current recovery rate in the country is at 98.40%, which is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. The daily positivity rate is at 0.79% and has remained below 2% for the last 86 days.
GRADED RESPONSE ACTION PLAN
A meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) chaired by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday was held virtually. The meeting was held in view of rising cases in Delhi. The current situation and the preparedness were reviewed in the meeting. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Revenue Minister Kailash Gehlot, Chief Secretary, and important officers of the Health Department were present in the meeting. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) Chairman, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, NITI Aayog member Dr V.K. Paul were also present.
According to sources, the meeting decided that bed occupancy instead of positivity rate will serve as the basis for the implementation of the “Amber Alert”, the next type of alert in the colour-coded Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for COVID-19, currently in effect in the national capital.
As per the sources, “It was decided in the meeting that only the Yellow Alert issued earlier will be continued in Delhi till further orders and according to GRAP, the basis of the second alert, ie Amber Alert, will not be positivity.”
According to the rules of GRAP, if the infection rate is more than 1% for two consecutive days, or active coronavirus cases remain 3500 for a week or 700 patients are admitted on oxygen beds in corona hospitals for a week, “Amber Alert” is applicable. Restrictions will increase under this alert. The weekend curfew will be implemented during the “Amber Alert”, the time limit of shops and malls opening under Odd-Even will reduce to 10 am to 6 pm, which is currently till 8 pm. Under this alert, restaurants and bars will be completely closed and only home delivery will be possible. Salons and beauty parlours will also be closed. The seating capacity of Delhi Metro will be reduced to 33% and parks and gardens will also be closed.
With the positivity rate touching 1.29%, the “Yellow Alert” is currently in effect in Delhi.
Amid the rise in cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Wednesday reactivated their Covid care centre in Bawana in Delhi. A senior CRPF officer said that an advisory has been issued to all formations of CRPF regarding Omicron. The 50-bed dedicated Covid care centre in Bawana has been reactivated. A COVID monitoring cell at CRPF headquarters and at 23 other establishments of the force has been activated. “Total 99.74% CRPF personnel are fully vaccinated, the remaining cannot be administered vaccines due to comorbidities or other medical conditions. CRPF will administer Precautionary dose (booster) to all personnel in field formation from January 10 onwards,” he said.
Mumbai reported 2,510 fresh COVID-19 cases and one death in the last 24 hours. Presently, 45 buildings have been sealed in Mumbai. Mumbai has 8,060 active cases and the recovery rate stands at 97%.
Maharashtra Cabinet minister Aditya Thackeray chaired a meeting at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters. In the meeting, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar and other health officials were also present. In a series of tweets, Aditya Thackeray said, “As the cases are rising rapidly, we urge everyone not to panic. However, we all must exercise extreme caution and ensure that we are vaccinated, masked up. This is a time to protect one’s self and thereby protect others.”
Thackeray said, “In the next 48 hours, BMC will connect with all educational institutions in the city to plan an organised vaccination drive for all those from 15 to 18 years of age.” “We have asked all the Covid care jumbo centres to be on the stand by, at all readiness levels, along with basic facilities to medical infrastructure. Testing and tracing protocols for all that have been operational all through were reviewed too,” he added.