More Testing, Contact Tracing & Micro Containment Zones: Delhi Gears up for '4th Covid Wave'

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As per scientists, the current Covid-19 wave is less severe than the last one, said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Monday, a day after the capital city recorded over 4,000 cases.

"Scientists have said that the current wave of Coronavirus is spreading much faster but it is less severe and the number of deaths is also lower. Samples have been sent to the central lab for genome sequencing for variants," Jain told the media.

Delhi recorded 4,033 cases and 21 deaths on Sunday, the highest since December 4, when the capital had reported 4,067 cases and 73 deaths. The positivity rate in the capital shot up to 4.64 per cent. On January 1 this year, Delhi had recorded 21 deaths and on February 9, for the first time, zero casualty was reported.

Delhi health minister also noted that in the past week as compared to the previous weeks, the number of cases have been higher and while cases have crossed the one lakh-mark in the entire country, the peak last time was 99,000 cases.

Speaking about the sharp rise in the number of casualties, Jain maintained that while the overall case fatality rate in Delhi is 1.64%, currently, it is less than half a percent. Further responding on when would the capital witnessed a declining trend, Jain said “We can only guess, I would want that we see a declining trend in the number of cases from this week onwards, you would want it too”.

Elaborating the state government’s strategy to fight the ‘fourth Covid wave’, the health minister said “the number of tests a day has been increased sharply. We are retesting 80,000 to 90,000 people per day. Along with that, the ones found positive are being isolated – those who are normal are isolated at home, those with moderate or severe symptoms are isolated in hospitals. We are also tracing 20 to 30 contacts of each person who have been found positive. These contacts are also being monitored and micro containment zones are also being made."

Those who are violating Covid-19 appropriate behaviour are being penalised and the government is scaling up the monitoring process.

Commenting on the sharp rise in containment zones in the capital, the minister explained that it was because of the micro-containment zones- the government's demarcation even when there are two or cases in either one home or a local place. Specifically, on the high number of containment zones in the South Delhi district, the health minister said, "It has been noticed that the upper-middle class and upper classes have been mildly more susceptible this time."

Jain also noted that the number of eligible plasma donors has gone down as cases in the capital had reduced drastically followed by a sudden and sharp spike in the past 20-25 days and appealed to those who have recovered to come forward and donate plasma.