Fresh Covid surge in Delhi: Call for caution, not panic | Delhi News
On June 1, the city recorded 368 positive cases from 21,147 tests, with a positivity rate of 1.7%. On Thursday, from the fewer 19,619 tests done, there were 622 positive results, showing a higher positivity rate of 3.2%. Delhi also recorded two Covid fatalities on Thursday.
While the number of cases reported in a single day has gone up by 69% against the figure eight days ago, the number of active cases has risen by 13.2%, from 1,567 at the beginning of the month to 1,774 on Thursday. Clearly, the number of patients recovering from the disease is equal to or more than the new cases being reported.
While 81 of the 9,595 hospital beds reserved for Covid patients were occupied on June 1, the number had marginally risen to 85 by Thursday.
“This Covid virus is showing resistance to heat because all the waves took place in the summer, particularly in India,” observed Dr Jugal Kishore, head of medicine, Safdarjung Hospital. “Omicron and its variants cause mild infection and there have been small surges in different areas depending on conditions like overcrowding, poor hygiene and waning immunity.”
He added that hospital admissions were very low and mortality, rare. “Surveillance with genetic mapping and local outbreaks should be investigated for proper management. It is best to observe social distancing, hand hygiene and nutrition because this prevents even infections like monkey pox,” Kishore said.
On March 31, Delhi Disaster Management Authority decided to stop the penalty for not wearing a mask in public. Delhiites, however, were advised to continue wearing face masks and follow other Covid-appropriate behaviour. With a small surge in cases, DDMA brought back the mask penalty on April 20 but lowered it to Rs 500 from Rs 2,000.
“It has been five months since the last wave, so the immunity of people would have come down,” said Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, public health expert. “On top of that, there is a relaxed attitude among people about Covid compulsion. The virus is still around. Ideally, there shouldn’t be a huge spike in cases. Omicron has got five sub-lineages that in turn have minor variations, so there shouldn’t be a major surge because of new mutants.”
Lok Nayak Hospital has 10 Covid patients admitted, one of whom is on ventilation. “The remaining nine patients are doing fine and are stable,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak. The person on ventilation is 65 year old with diabetes and heart issues. The samples of all the recently admitted patients have been sent for genome sequencing and the reports should come out in 4-5 days.”
In Delhi, Lok Nayak and Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences have labs for genome sequencing of Covid samples. In April, the government had ordered every sample collected, including those by the private labs, to be sent for genome sequencing. Kumar disclosed, “So far, the reports of the samples collected show the same variant of Omicron that caused the wave in January. As of now, no cases of new sub lineage variants have been detected.”
Dr Neeraj Nischal, professor of medicine at AIIMS, added, “As long as there aren’t dangerous mutations like Delta, there is no big threat from infection even if new cases go up. However, we should not lower our guard. Booster doses should be taken.”