Delhi likely to see 14,000 Covid cases on Thursday, says Satyendar Jain

Jain said the number of cases in Delhi is high due as a large number of people are being tested for COVID-19 in the city.

satyendra jain
Jain said Delhi has already taken stringent actions, including imposing a night curfew and weekend curfew, which are sufficient for time being. (File photo: IE)

Delhi is expected to record 14,000 fresh Covid cases on Thursday with a positivity rate of around 14 per cent, but the situation in the city does not warrant a lockdown yet, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. Speaking to reporters, the minister said so far, no death due to the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been confirmed in the national capital. He asserted Delhi is in a comfortable position in terms of hospital bed occupancy.

Jain said the number of cases in Delhi is high as a large number of people are being tested for COVID-19 in the city. “We have been conducting a large number of tests. If we don’t do that, the new cases can reduce to 500-1,000. A lot of people (states) don’t conduct tests and say they don’t have cases. We have been transparent,” he said. “We are conducting the maximum number of tests in the country,” he claimed.

A few healthcare workers in Delhi have tested positive for COVID-19, but the number is not alarming, the minister said in response to a question.

Asked whether the AAP government was considering a lockdown in the city, Jain said Delhi has already taken stringent actions, including imposing night curfew and weekend curfew, which are sufficient for the time being. There is no need for a lockdown right now.

The minister reiterated that hospital bed occupancy and severity of infections is very less this time. He said the government has been making preparations keeping the worst-case scenario in mind. The number of beds has been increased from over 9,000 a few days ago to over 12,000.

Jain said the discrepancy in the data on hospital bed occupancy on the Delhi Corona app and the health bulletin is because “most beds in hospitals have been converted into oxygenated beds”.

“If there are patients on such beds, it doesn’t mean they require oxygen. Similarly, if a patient is on a ventilator bed, it doesn’t mean they require ventilator support,” he added.

The minister said one should not speculate when the infections will peak or how many cases will be recorded after a week. “It is better that people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said last month that his government has made preparations to handle one lakh Covid patients and conduct three lakh tests daily and ensure availability of enough manpower, medicines and medical oxygen. Up to 37,000 oxygen beds will be made available in hospitals, he had said.

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