'Positivity rate is still lower than other states': Satyendar Jain on Delhi's COVID-19 situation

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain addressed a press conference to update on the ongoing situation of the pandemic in Delhi. He said that Delhi saw 5100 positive cases and 103453 tests were conducted. The positivity rate was at 4.93%.

Delhi’s positivity rate is looming at around 5%. In the past few three weeks, Delhi has seen a surge in the number of positive cases. There was a time that the cases had come under 200, but now it has crossed the 5000. He said that the Delhi Government is escalating the number of beds in the hospitals.

In the last three days, more than 2000 beds have been added and in the coming 2-3 days, an additional 2000-2500 will be increased. Adding further, Jain said that covid has lasted for more than a year and the most effective way to curb the infection is to wear a mask and follow the protocol of sanitisation and social distancing.

The Minister said that the night curfew in Delhi from 10 pm to 5 am has been done to avoid unnecessary crowds that could cause the virus to spread. He said that the curfew was done temporarily and the impact will be analysed. He said that people talk in extremes, some are in favour of a lockdown and some are not, therefore there has to be a middle ground. The Minister said that Delhi’s positivity rate was still lower than many Indian states and that the Delhi Government was ensuring measures to contain it further.
Jain said that as per the new trend, the virus was fast spreading among the people aged between 20-45 years, who may not get affected much but can pose a threat to the elderly at homes. Therefore, the vaccination should now be made available to all ages.

Delhi reported 5100 positive cases yesterday and the positivity rate was 4.93%. 1,03,453 covid tests were conducted.

Jain said, “For the last three weeks, Delhi has seen a surge. It used to be lower than 200-300 covid cases earlier, but now it is more than 5000. Delhi Government is increasing the number of covid beds in the hospitals. In lieu of this, more than 2000 beds have been increased in the past three days and in the coming 2-3 days, additional 2000-2500 will be increased.”

While making an appeal to the residents, Jain asserted, “I would say that Corona has been there for the past one year and the most effective way to tackle the infection is to wear the masks. Whenever among the public, one must wear the mask, follow social distancing and sanitise. Wearing the mask is of utmost importance and if we do, we will be able to curb the virus. I can definitely say that Delhiites complied with the covid guidelines for 2-3 months and later they were relaxed, so I think that it is impacting now.”



Responding to queries surrounding the night curfew, Jain said, “The night curfew has been imposed between 10 PM in the night to 5 AM in the morning. There were reports about parties, which cause unnecessary gatherings and people are in close contact there. Hence the night curfew is aimed to avoid this situation because if even one is positive among the 50 people, all 50 test positive.”

Talking about the effectiveness of the night curfew, Jain added, “We cannot impose night curfew in certain parts, it has to be applied to all of Delhi. However it has been done for the time being. We will analyse the impact. It is not a harsh decision, it will start from 10 PM in the night and people generally finish their work by then.”

Responding to the queries surrounding loss of employment due to the night curfew, Jain said, “Taxis are allowed and if someone is coming from outside and have valid tickets they can travel. For restaurants and hotels, the timing is anyway 11 PM. I believe that the condition of the virus is not mellow, so we have to be aware and careful. People talk in extremes, either they are in favour of a complete lockdown or none at all. There has to be a middle ground as well.”

While answering about E-passes and website issues, Jain said, “It has begun from yesterday, I think these teething problems will be sorted out.”

In response to a query about the IPL Match on 29th April, Jain asserted, “We are concentrating on the state of the coronavirus now. The seriousness of the problem is that cases have crossed 5,000 margins in about three weeks unlike in earlier months which was below 200.” He added, “We will think about it.” He also said, “It seems that it could cross the old record as per the pace of the spread. The positivity is above 5% in Delhi, 25% in Maharashtra, 16% in Chhattisgarh and 10% in many other states. If the positivity rate in Delhi was that much, the situation could be worse. We are monitoring the situation very seriously in Delhi."



On being asked whether it could cross 8,000 margin, Jain said, “It can not be assumed now. Although many states are seeing higher positivity rate than Delhi. Vaccination drive is going on 24 hours in all 33 Delhi Government Hospitals. 21,388 vaccination in private hospitals and 62,825 in government hospitals were done as per the data after 10 PM yesterday. 25% in private and 75% in government hospitals were conducted respectively. The vaccine is available with us.”

While talking about the protest by Aam Aadmi Party in front of BJP headquarters against exporting of vaccines to other countries, Jain said, “We believe that the vaccine should be first made available to India and later exported to other countries. People above 45 years might need it mostly and but the new trend shows that people between ages 20-45 years are getting infected. It is fast spreading amongst those people as they are more mobile. It seems that they are not heavily affected but the chances of the virus spreading increases when they go home, as their parents and other family members are exposed to risk. Therefore we said that vaccination should be rolled out to everyone barring age, as soon as possible.”

Talking about the functioning of OPDs in Delhi Governments hospitals as it is closed in AIIMS, Jain added, “We have directed all Delhi Governments hospitals to increase the Covid beds and they would take further decisions accordingly.”

“I really hope that the cases would no longer increase and pray that everything will fall into place soon.'' said Jain.

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