Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Delhi sees Covid surge: Can #DelhiLeadTheWay in avoiding red alert?

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Delhi is at the brink of witnessing a third wave of Covid-19. With a positivity rate of about 1%, it is only time that a red alert is declared. Delhi continues to be the worst affected state with 238 confirmed cases of Omicron, followed by Maharashtra that has 167 confirmed cases of Omicron. In the past 24 hours, the national capital has reported a total of 496 Covid-19 cases, one death and 172 recoveries. The total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Delhi now stand at 14, 44,179.

Amid the Omicron threat, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has announced a yellow alert under GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan). The imposition of yellow alert has led to restrictions like night curfew, closure of schools and colleges, the opening of non-essential shops on an odd-even basis, halved seating capacity in metro trains and buses among others.

If the positivity rate further increases, which experts predict that it would, the Delhi government would go ahead to impose a red alert. The imposition of red alert under GRAP would lead to closure of all shops, including those in residential areas. Malls, schools, colleges, sports complexes, parks, cinema halls, banquet and marriage halls as well as Delhi metro would be shut. Marriages and funerals will be allowed attendance of 15 persons while all other types of gathering related to social, political, cultural, religious and festival events will be prohibited.

To avoid such a situation, it is important that some self and societal restraint is put in place. Some of the ways by which Delhi can lead the way in doing so include use of N-95 masks over normal cloth masks, maintain social distancing at public places, restricting stepping out and using home delivery as much as possible, implement work from home as much as possible, shelve new year gatherings, frequently wash hands, restrict public contact and use sanitisers frequently, ensure regular temperature check, get rapid antigen test done and finally watch for symptoms and act on doctors discretion.

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