COVID-19: Increase in cases due to arrival of international flights, says Delhi Health Minister

New Delhi: Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the city, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that several international passengers, who have tested negative at the airport, are testing positive for the virus after a few days. and are infecting others during this period.

“The cases have increased because of international flights. Even during the earlier wave, the cases had increased due to the arrival of flights,” the minister told reporters.

Jain also said that preparations for vaccination of children and booster dose for elderly have been completed in the first week of January and three lakh people can be vaccinated daily.

Delhi on Wednesday recorded a huge jump in daily COVID-19 infections with 923 fresh cases, the highest since May 30. After six months, the positivity rate crossed 1 per cent to reach 1.29 per cent.

The national capital also recorded 238 omicron cases. A day earlier there were 165 cases of new variants.

“There are many people who are testing negative at the airport and are allowed to go home. District officials are in touch with them. After reaching home, they are tested again and they come out positive. In the process , they are also infecting their family members,” Jain told reporters.

According to the guidelines issued by the health ministry on November 30 for international travelers, if people arriving from ‘at risk’ countries test negative at the airport, they should follow home quarantine for a week. They are tested again on the eighth day of their arrival and if they test negative, they will have to self-monitor their health for the next seven days.

“However, if such passengers test positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing in the INSACOG laboratory network. They will be managed in a separate isolation facility and treated as per prescribed standard protocols including contact tracing…

“The contacts of such positive cases should be kept under institutional quarantine or in home quarantine as per the protocol prescribed by the respective state government,” the guidelines said.

Jain said the Omicron version of the coronavirus is highly transmissible and indicated that this could be the reason behind the recent spike in infections.

The minister said that Delhi is fully prepared to deal with the situation of Kovid-19.

“Many of the omicron The cases are of international travelers and those who have to travel to other places. If they test positive here, they are isolated.

“So far we have seen that patients do not require oxygen for treatment and are recovering easily,” he said.

He urged people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The Delhi government decided to continue with the existing restrictions under a ‘yellow alert’ for some time before announcing further restrictions in the city.

Jain said that in the first week of January, preparations for vaccination of children and booster dose for the elderly have been completed.

“The vaccines will be administered at the centers which have already been established. We have increased our capacity and can vaccinate up to three lakh people on a daily basis,” he said.

Jain said that if the number of coronavirus cases increases, the Delhi government may impose additional restrictions.

“The situation is being closely monitored by the health department. If required, the Delhi government is ready to take all necessary steps. All public health crisis experts are in touch with the Delhi government and with the government in all aspects of the situation.” cooperating,” he said.

In view of the rise in cases, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday declared a ‘yellow alert’ under which schools, colleges, cinemas and gyms will remain closed.

Non-essential goods shops will open on odd-even basis and metro trains and buses will run with 50 per cent seating capacity in the city.

Yellow alert is sounded when the COVID-19 positivity rate remains above 0.50 percent for two consecutive days. ,

Cases have increased but there has been no increase in oxygen consumption or ventilator use. He said during an online briefing that most patients are recovering without hospitalization as they have mild or no symptoms.

The Chief Minister assured Delhiites that his government was ten times more prepared than before to deal with the rising number of cases.

Kejriwal, however, said it was unfortunate that people were going to markets and malls without masks and appealed to them to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.