The Delhi government is prepared to deal with the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, as he urged people not to panic saying even though the variant was said to spread faster than the previous ones, its symptoms were mild. The national capital has reported 24 cases of Omicron so far. Out of these 24 patients, 12 have been discharged, according to the government.
"No need to panic in view of Omicron threat. We have adequate arrangements at hospitals if there is any spread of new Covid variant. There is no oxygen threat this time. Experts say Omicron is a mild variant of Covid. The number of hospitalisations and deaths are fairly low because of Omicron," Mr Kejriwal said after a meeting to discuss the new variant threat.
Mr Kejriwal also appealed to the central government to allow booster dose for health workers and other citizens to fight new COVID-19 variants like Omicron.
Delhi on Sunday reported over a hundred cases of coronavirus in 24 hours - the highest daily spike in nearly six months. On June 25, the national capital had recorded 115 cases in one day.
Along with the 107 new cases on Sunday, the city also reported one related death - a first in 10 days. Over 25,000 Covid patients have died so far in Delhi.
At today's briefing, the chief minister said that all new positive cases will be sent for genome sequencing.
"For the last few days COVID-19 cases are increasing in the city. Yesterday (Sunday), it was over 100. We don't know what type of Covid cases are these, normal or the Omicron variant. So to ascertain this we have now decided to send the samples of all the positive cases for genome sequencing," he said.
The case positivity rate of the national capital is now 0.17% - on a gradual rise from 0.13% day before. On Wednesday, 57 cases were recorded in Delhi with a positivity rate of 0.10 per cent, according to the health bulletin.
There are currently 540 active COVID-19 patients in Delhi with 255 in home isolation.
The number of Covid cases recorded in Delhi so far reached 14,42,197. Over 14.16 lakh patients have recovered from the disease, with 50 people being discharged in the last 24 hours.
The Delhi government, however, has said that the city might not face another wave of infections, quoting a sero survey conducted by the Delhi government that has shown that 96 per cent of the state population have antibodies and a majority of them were vaccinated.
In April and May, Delhi battled a brutal second wave of the pandemic that claimed a large number of lives and led to a shortage of oxygen and essential drugs at hospitals.
On April 20, Delhi had reported 28,395 cases, the highest in the city since the beginning of the pandemic last year. On April 22, the case positivity rate was 36.2 per cent, the highest so far.
The highest number of 448 deaths was reported on May 3.
With inputs from PTI