New Delhi: The Delhi government has directed district magistrates to ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed, even as experts have said people becoming carefree towards maintaining social distancing norms was behind the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the capital. The government has directed DMs of 11 revenue districts to increase drives to issue challans in case people are not following social distancing norms, officials said.
“We are keeping a very close watch on the COVID-19 graph of the national capital. Strict directions have been issued to all the concerned departments and officials to ensure adequacy of all the facilities and supplies at the hospitals.
“We’re implementing all possible measures to prevent the spread of the infection. At the same time, we also appeal to the citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour in public and keep a check on their health,” said a government official.
Experts said with the festive season nearing, it is feared that cases might increase as people have become lax.
Hospital admissions have also seen a marginal increase but it is among those who have some sort of co-morbidity or are unvaccinated, they said.
On Sunday, Delhi reported 2,423 fresh COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 14.97 per cent, the highest since January 22, while two more people died due to the viral disease.
On January 22, the positivity rate was 16.4 per cent.
This was the fifth consecutive day when the daily case count remained above 2,000. The positivity rate has remained above 10 per cent for seven straight days.
The capital on Saturday recorded 2,311 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 13.84 per cent and one fatality. On Friday, it had logged 2,419 cases with a positivity rate of 12.95 per cent, while two people died due to the disease.
According to an official from the West district, “The district is seeing 200-250 cases on a daily basis. During earlier months, the spike would decline in a week, but this rise is unusual.
“The people are not wearing masks and are gathering in large numbers. With Raksha Bandhan, Independence Day and Janmashtami just a few days away, it is feared that the cases might see a surge.”
Officials have been directed to step up surveillance and to mandatorily ensure that those with ILI symptoms and Covid-like signs get tested, he said.
“Also, seasonal illnesses are there. When you have viral infection already, your immune system weakens and you become vulnerable to other infections too,” he added.
The official said people are not going for precaution doses, despite authorities administering them even at the doorstep.
“Meetings are being held over the issue. The government centres are even opening on Sundays and leaves of all officials have been cancelled,” he added.
A doctor, requesting anonymity, said it needs to be studied whether there are any mutants that are more transmissible to ascertain whether this surge is being caused by them.
SK Arora, medical director of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, said, “People have become carefree in following Covid-appropriate behaviour and we have witnessed a slight increase in hospital admissions also.”
He said those with comorbid conditions or age-related issues are getting hospitalised but emphasised that the fear of the virus has declined.
He recalled that the second Covid wave had instilled a fear in the minds of people and they followed social distancing norms for a long time but now there is a laxity, since the disease is mild and people are having fever for only a day.