With Delhi reporting a spike in COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate touching nearly 20 per cent, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said people who have taken the booster dose of vaccines are safer from the coronavirus infection than others.
On a day when the city reported 917 new cases and 3 deaths in the last 24 hours, Mr Sisodia held a meeting with senior officers of the Health Department and district magistrates to step up vaccination. The surging cases have also seen increased hospitalisations, prompting fresh appeals by authorities to wear masks and observe COVID-19 precautions.
"Ninety per cent of Corona-infected patients admitted to the hospital are those patients who have taken only two doses of the vaccine. At the same time, only 10 per cent of the patients got Corona infected after the third dose of the vaccine. It is clear from this that people who apply precautionary doses are safer from corona infection," the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, who was also present in the meeting, directed the district magistrates to carry out visits to verify the status of vaccination camps to be set up at crowded places such as metro stations, markets, and malls.
Mr Sisodia said the Delhi government is keeping a close watch on the coronavirus situation and has already 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.
Earlier in the day, Delhi's Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena tweeted, "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 down."
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. Over 500 (Covid) beds are occupied at the moment of the 9,000. Over 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," she added.
Delhi on Monday had reported 1,227 new COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 14.57 per cent, along with eight deaths, according to data shared by the health department.
Before that, the city logged more than 2,000 cases daily for 12 consecutive days.
Despite the rise in the positivity rate, the city government has not announced the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority yet.
The GRAP came into force in August last year, listing measures to be taken by the government following the positivity rate and bed occupancy for locking and unlocking of various activities.
Delhi reported its all-time high of daily COVID-19 cases of 28,867 on January 13 and a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent a day later during the third wave of the pandemic.