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Prevention Better Than Cure, Warns Sisodia as COVID-19 Cases Spike

With 81 deaths, the toll in August so far is the highest since February, when 257 patients died.
A healthcare worker collects a swab sample of a passenger for the COVID-19 test as the country sees an Omicron-driven Coronavirus surge, at New Delhi Railway station

A healthcare worker collects a swab sample of a passenger for the COVID-19 test as the country sees an Omicron-driven Coronavirus surge, at New Delhi Railway station. Image Courtesy: ANI

The pandemic is far from over with 917 new COVID-19 cases, three more deaths and a positivity rate of 19.20% reported in Delhi on Tuesday. The total number of cases in Delhi stands at 19,86,739 and the death toll at 26,392.

With 81 deaths so far—more than five on an average—the toll in August is the highest since February, when 257 patients died. August has already recorded the highest number of cases since January at 30,968, The Times of India reported.

New cases and deaths are being reported from other parts of the country. India recorded 9,062 new infections and 36 more deaths on Tuesday, according to the ministry of health and family welfare, taking the total number of cases to 4,42,86,256 and the toll to 5,27,134. India’s daily and weekly positivity rates stand at 2.49% and 4.38%, respectively.

Public health expert Dr Suneela Garg, a member of the Lancet Commission, told NDTV, “The recovery rate is good but cases are rising and hospitalisation has picked up. More than 500 (Covid) beds are occupied at the moment of the 9,000. More than 20 of the 2,129 ICU beds are occupied; 65 patients on are ventilation at the moment There is no need to panic but this is a marker of caution.”

With the daily number of cases and hospitalisation increasing in the Union Territory, lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena appealed to residents to “strictly adhere” to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and not “let our guard down”.

“We are witnessing a rise in COVID-19 infections, consistently high positivity and cases of reinfection. It is essential that we realise that the pandemic is far from over. I appeal to all to strictly adhere to COVID Appropriate Behaviour. We cannot afford to let our guards (sic) down,” Saxena tweeted.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who held a meeting with senior officers of the health department and district magistrates to boost vaccination, said that “90% of infected patients who have been hospitalised took only two doses of the vaccine”, NDTV reported. “At the same time, only 10% of the patients got infected after the third dose of the vaccine. It is clear from this that people who take precautionary doses are safer from infection,” he said.

“Prevention is better than cure. All those who have not yet taken the vaccine or have taken only the first or second dose should take the precautionary dose as soon as possible,” Sisodia added.

Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak Hospital, told The Indian Express that “most of the people coming to us are those who have taken just one or two doses of the vaccine”. Most people, according to him, who have got the precautionary dose are either not contracting the virus or do not have serious symptoms. “I appeal to everyone to get the precautionary dose,” he added.

Chief secretary Naresh Kumar, who was also present in the meeting, directed district magistrates to verify the status of vaccination camps to be set up at crowded places like metro stations, markets, and malls, NDTV reported.

Sisodia claimed that the Delhi government is closely watching the situation and has upgraded its health infrastructure. “Along with this, all the hospitals have also been asked to remain on alert. However, now people are also showing carelessness and it has been seen that many people are not taking precautionary doses,” he said.

On Monday, Delhi reported 1,227 new cases, eight deaths and a positivity rate of 14.57%, according to the health department. The number of new cases and fatalities on Sunday, Saturday and Friday was 2,162 and five deaths, 2,031 and nine and 2,136 and 10 (the highest in six months), respectively. Earlier, the Delhi reported more than 2,000 cases daily for 12 consecutive days.

Delhi reported an all-time high of daily cases of 28,867 on January 13 and a positivity rate of 30.6% a day later during the third wave of the pandemic, according to NDTV.

Strangely, the Arvind Kejriwal government has not implemented the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority last August, despite the spike in the positivity rate.

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