Delhi / No lockdown in Delhi: Health Minister Satyendar Jain amid COVID-19 surge

Zoom News : Jan 04, 2022, 06:22 PM
New Delhi: Delhi has recorded 5,481 new coronavirus cases and three deaths in a day, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said today, adding that weekend curfew is not a lockdown. 

The positivity rate - the number of people testing positive for every 100 tests - has surged from 6.46 to 8.3 per cent in the capital.  

"The weekend curfew should not be treated as a lockdown," Satyendar Jain told reporters on new curbs announced for Delhi.

A weekend curfew and work from home for government offices has been imposed to tackle the surge in cases; private offices can only allow half their staff.   

Buses and the Delhi metro will operate at full capacity. Earlier, the government had cut the number of passengers to half for both services but that led to long queues and crowding. 

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority met to decide on new curbs after two straight days of over five per cent positivity - the level that triggers a red alert under the colour-coded Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).   

"Buses and metro will function at 100 per cent but not without a mask. There is nothing to worry. Make masks your shield," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.

With the highly contagious Omicron driving most infections in Delhi, cases rose by 33 per cent today from 4,099 on Monday.

Earlier today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 but had mild symptoms.  

Top health ministry sources say Delhi may see 20-25,000 cases a day by mid-January and hospitalisations may increase.   

At the current rate of infection, Delhi may report 8-9,000 daily cases by January 8, top sources in the Union Health Ministry told NDTV.    

"By January 15, there could be 20-25,000 daily cases in Delhi," the sources said.   

A 10 pm to 5 am night curfew is already in place in Delhi as part of "yellow alert" restrictions announced on December 29. Cinemas, gyms are shut and shops have been allowed on an odd-even basis.