20 Feb 2021: Delhi could bring back COVID-19 checks for domestic flyers
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will convene a meeting on Monday to decide whether there is a need to again introduce checks - including mandatory negative RT-PCR test reports - for people arriving from states where the COVID-19 cases are currently rising.
Senior government officials confirmed the news on Friday, Hindustan Times reports.
Here are more details on this.
Details: Delhi's chief secretary Vijay Dev confirmed the news
"The DDMA is meeting on Monday for review of COVID-19 situation in other states and union territories, especially those in which the number of cases are rising again (sic)," said Delhi's Chief Secretary Vijay Dev.
The DDMA is chaired by Delhi Lieutenant Governor - Anil Baijal, while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal serves as the authority's vice-chairperson.
Reason: Maharashtra, Punjab, other states seeing spike in cases
The news comes as some states and Union Territories such as Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, and Jammu and Kashmir are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
In addition, there are fears over mutant strains gaining ground, as well as increasing laxity among people in adhering to basic COVID-19-related guidelines such as following social distancing norms and wearing face masks in public.
Situation: Meanwhile, Delhi's positivity rate is under 1%
Meanwhile, in Delhi, the daily test positivity rate has remained under 1% for over two months now.
On Friday, the capital city reported 158 fresh coronavirus cases and a positivity rate of 0.26%.
Thus far, 6,37,603 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Delhi, out of which 6,25,653 people have recovered while 10,897 died due to the virus.
Statement: Delhi is now 'out of danger,' says Health Minister
Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain said yesterday, "I feel now that all the three waves of COVID-19 have hit the city and it will die down eventually. Now it is no more a pandemic but an endemic."
"I feel we are out of the danger zone but we still need to take proper precautions, masks and social distancing needs to be maintained," he added.
Experts: Experts advise caution to keep COVID-19 in check
Importantly, medical experts have advised patience and caution to keep the coronavirus' spread in check in Delhi.
"Cases are going up in several other states. With that, Delhi should immediately scale up surveillance and tests," suggests Dr. Lalit Kant, the former head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases department of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).