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People should get tested, mask mandate must be reinstated: Doctors on Covid-19 situation in Delhi | India News

NEW DELHI: With Delhi’s Covid-19 positivity rate once again surpassing the 5% mark, doctors said on Sunday that people developing coronavirus-like symptoms should get tested and authorities should ban the wearing of masks mandatory to help check the spread of infection.
The Covid-19 positivity rate in the nation’s capital rose from 0.5% to 5.33% in two weeks.
While the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will provide an update on April 20, doctors said the meeting should have been held here in view of the recent daily surge in cases and major spike in the positivity rate.
On Saturday, the city recorded 461 cases with a positivity rate of 5.33%, while two deaths were also reported. As of Friday, Delhi had recorded 366 cases.
Prior to that, the city had reported a positivity rate of 5.09% as of February 1, while as of January 31 that figure was 6.2%.
Doctors at major public and private hospitals have stressed the need for increased testing following the spike in cases, although they said “no drastic restrictions” were needed at this time.
“People who develop symptoms are largely not getting tested for Covid-19. Now, with cases increasing and the positivity rate over 5% again, I urge people to get tested. test if they have symptoms.
“Even those who are going to self-isolate at home should get tested,” said a chief medical officer at the LNJP hospital.
Dr Ritu Saxena, who heads the emergency department at Delhi’s largest government facility and a key Covid-19 hospital here, said large gatherings should now be avoided and people should wear masks and follow Covid appropriate behavior.
The Delhi government on April 2 ended the imposition of fines for not wearing masks.
As the DDMA meeting is due to be held on April 20, “we can expect some kind of restrictions, given the increase in the number of cases and the growing positivity rate,” she said.
“We have 250 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients, and depending on the situation, the entire facility may again be reserved for them. Currently, five patients are in intensive care, but none are on a ventilator,” she said.
Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior internal medicine consultant at Apollo Hospital, noted that hospitalization is still less, but called for “logical” and “strict” measures to control the spread of infection.
“Given the situation in Delhi, the DDMA meeting should have been held a bit earlier. Also, the mask mandate needs to be reinstated,” he said.
With the positivity rate on the rise, the right decision would be to take “logical and strict measures”, he added.
“We lost a Covid-19 patient recently in hospital, but he was 79 years old and had comorbidities. The good thing so far is that the number of hospitalized Covid patients is still lower and the severity is also lower” , Chatterjee said.
The doctor said the current situation in Delhi does not warrant major restrictions such as closing markets and closing physical offices as the economy has already suffered greatly under the three waves of the pandemic.
But, the situation is changing, “so we’ll have to watch it closely as well,” Chatterjee said.
Doctors at several major public and private facilities had warned earlier this week that a “sense of complacency has set in among the masses” in general, particularly after authorities recently scrapped the mask mandate.
The steady rise in the positivity rate has raised concerns about a possible new wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the city.
The test positivity rate was 2.87% on February 5, rising to 5.33% on April 16.
Doctors also said vaccination and herd immunity “certainly provided a level of protection too” for people.
The nationwide vaccination exercise had started in January 2021 and currently the exercise to administer a precautionary dose is ongoing.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday his government was closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the capital and there was no major reason for panic at the moment. He also said that all necessary measures will be taken.
The Covid-19 tally in the nation’s capital rose to 18,68,033 on Saturday while the death toll stood at 26,160.


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