blackjack online casino live dealer,paranormal casino,daman casino,4th wave in Delhi, says CM Kejriwal, but holds off on Covid-19 curbs
- Experts said Delhi’s strategy could fall well short of an effective mechanism to stop the pandemic, even as several other parts of the country considered stringent curbs to contain the fresh wave
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday admitted that the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was raging in the Capital, but did not impose a lockdown or any curbs to control the spike on a day the city reported 3,594 cases, an alarming jump of about 30% over the previous day’s infection tally.
Experts said Delhi’s strategy could fall well short of an effective mechanism to stop the pandemic, even as several other parts of the country considered stringent curbs to contain the fresh wave; Pune shut eateries, bars and restaurants for seven days in view of the spike. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state may face a shortage in health care infrastructure if the “alarming situation” continued, adding that stricter curbs will be imposed in a day or two.
Experts have consistently recommended against a lockdown, but believe that regions seeing a surge in cases, such as Delhi, need to impose restrictions before it is too late, even as they try to accelerate vaccinations. Both, they stress, are important.
Fresh waves in several parts of the India and the world have been worse than the previous surges, with mutating variants of the virus proving to be a bigger threat than the initial ballooning of the pandemic.
“For the rest of the country, one may call it the second wave. But for Delhi, this is the fourth wave. We are heading towards the fourth peak. This wave is witnessing exponential increase in cases and spreading very fast. It is concerning but there is nothing to panic because this wave is also less severe in terms of number of deaths and cases that require hospitalisation, admission to ICU, etc,” Kejriwal said at a digital news briefing. The Delhi CM’s remarks came after he chaired an emergency meeting with health minister Satyendar Jain and senior officials in the health department.
He also asked the Centre to remove the eligibility criteria for vaccines (currently those over the age of 45), opening up the inoculation drive to everyone.
Delhi reported its first wave in June, the second in September and the third in November, which has been the worst so far, with the highest case tally of 8,593.
On Friday, there were 89,030 new infections reported across India, the highest single-day increase since September 19. India’s highest single-day caseload was 99,181 on September 1, according to the HT Covid-19 dashboard.
The Delhi chief minister said that while there was no plan for immediate curbs, people will be consulted if such a move was considered in the future.
“Around October last year, when Delhi was recording 3,000-4,000 new cases each day, ICU admissions were around 1,700 – against that, around 800 people are in the ICU currently. Similarly, we were recording around 40 deaths per day then. Currently, we are recording around 10-12 deaths a day. This wave is evidently less severe compared to the old ones and the home isolation model is working well,” Kejriwal said.
India is in the grip of a second wave, and case and death numbers are certain to rise through April in what is going to be a race between the virus and the vaccine. India’s vaccine drive has seen a slow start, relative to the size of the country and the number of people that need to be vaccinated.
Kejriwal appealed to the people to wear face masks, maintain social distancing and regularly wash hands to prevent getting infected.
The chief minister said efforts were being made to ramp up the health care infrastructure to stop the surge. If the Centre allowed vaccination at non-health care facilities such as schools, immunisation can be taken up on a war footing to check the spread of the virus, he added.
“I appreciate the Centre’s decision to operationalise both public and private sector Covid-19 vaccination centres (CVCs) on all days of the month of April. However, I urge the government to remove the clause of vaccinating only those people aged above 45 years. I request the Centre to start the vaccination drive at a mass-scale,” the CM said.
He also appealed to the government to allow the vaccination drive to be conducted in schools and community centres so that a larger number of people can be reached out.
A little over a month ago, Delhi reported 94 cases on February 16. The positivity rate that day was 0.17%. On Friday, it was 4.11%.
“At the current juncture, there is no plan to impose any lockdown. We are monitoring the situation. In the future, if needed, we will talk to people and only then take decisions. For ambulances, hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators, we have made a detailed plan in a phased manner. It will guide us on when to increase beds in government hospitals, when in private hospitals, etc,” said the Kejriwal.
“At this juncture, we have three broad objectives. How to arrest the spread of the disease at the earliest; we will aggressively follow the test, tracing, isolation strategy and scale up containment efforts.
However, the biggest role is that of the people of Delhi. We have fought three earlier waves. We can do it again. I appeal to people to wear masks, adhere to social distancing and wash hands regularly. These are our biggest protection. The second objective is hospital management, for which we have chalked out a detailed plan today.”
He added: “Third is vaccination. The government has now allowed all people aged over 45 years to be vaccinated. Delhi’s vaccination capacity is now 96,000 and yesterday (Thursday), we vaccinated around 71,000 people. But, in Delhi, we are facing some problems. We are not being able to open more vaccine centres because of strict guidelines of the central government. They allow vaccine centres to be set up in only hospitals. We urge the central government to be lenient in this matter. We can make all arrangements for emergencies. Also, vaccination should now be open for all, irrespective of age. I hope the central government will consider it.”
Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the division of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said: “Looking into the current trends, some curbs, especially those targeting large gatherings, especially in closed spaces, should have been good at this point. People have to be more alert now and the government must scale up enforcement against violation of rules concerning face masks and social distancing. If such steps are not taken, things can get worse in the coming days. The current measures are evidently not enough. Delhi has to aggressively scale up tests, tracing, isolation, containment and vaccination efforts.”
Delhi, which was one of the earliest hot spots in India’s Covid-19 outbreak, is the only region in the country that has reported three distinct waves of infections and is in its fourth wave. The first started in mid-June last year, and peaked when the seven-day average of daily cases touched around 3,400 in the last week of June. This receded by the end of July when it dropped to around 1,000 daily cases. The second wave started at the end of August, rising until mid-September, when average daily cases touched 4,174 for the week ending September 17. This again dropped to 2,574 in the week ending October 9, before the onset of the third wave. The third wave raged through October and November.
With inputs from Anonna Dutt