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We’re taking all steps to shield Delhi from UK virus strain: Jain

People who travelled to Delhi from UK in the past 10 days are being traced, tested and advised quarantine, says health minister; adds the city’s ‘success’ over Covid 3rd wave must be maintained

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain today said that people who travelled to Delhi from the UK over the past 10 days were being traced, tested and advised quarantine.

Referring to the new strain of coronavirus in the UK, Jain said, “The new mutation is spreading fast in the UK. According to the data available, there has been a rapid spurt in cases, around 30,000 per day. This is why we requested the Central government to ban flights to the UK, which they did with effect from today.”

Commenting on the preparedness of Delhi to combat the new coronavirus strain, the minister said, “The reason for the fast spread of the virus during March-April, too, was that lots of people travelled to Delhi. All the people who are travelling via the UK are being tested at the airport, and those travelling on international flights are required to carry a test report with them.

Our strategy is to identify all those based outside Delhi during the past two weeks, and conduct door-to- door testing for them. I request everyone to wear a face mask because that is the only way to stay safe. If you step out with a face mask on, you will be able to combat any number of strains.”

Responding to a query on the detection of the new coronavirus strain, Jain said, “Only the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be able to test and clarify the differences and ways of detection owing to its scientific nature.

We will still be conducting tests because Delhi has successfully combated the third wave of the coronavirus infection, and we wouldn’t want anything to hamper our success. According to the information provided, the new strain is contagious and, as seen in the UK, is spreading fast. Therefore, we are taking all the required steps not to let the new strain affect Delhi.”

Referring to Delhi’s yesterday coronavirus infections (Covid-19) figures, Jain pointed out that Delhi saw the lowest positivity rate of 1.29 per cent in eight months and that for the first time in four months the number of Covid cases was under 1000 in the city.

“Delhi saw 803 cases yesterday and a positivity rate of 1.29 per cent. After 15 August, we have seen less than 900 positive cases for the first time. The positivity rate has been the lowest in eight months — 1.29 per cent — almost negligible. For fourfive days, it has been less than 1.5 per cent. I want to congratulate Delhi’ites for this amazing feat,” he said.

On the manufacturing of the anti-coronavirus vaccine, Jain said, “The vaccine is being developed and manufactured in India. We are awaiting approval to start the manufacturing and roll out process.”

Delhi’s active coronavirus cases tally had yesterday dropped below the 10,000-mark, dipping to 9,255 cases — the first time since August 4 when its figure stood at 9,897.

The national capital had yesterday reported 27 fresh Covid fatalities.

This was the seventh consecutive day yesterday when Delhi’s positivity rate has remained below 2 per cent. It stood at 1.3 per cent on 20 December and 19 December, 1.6 per cent on 18 December, and 1.51 per cent on 17 December.

On 15 and 16 December, the city’s positivity rate were 1.9 per cent and 1.96 per cent respectively. The positivity rate from December 3-7 had successively dipped to 4.96 per cent, 4.78 per cent, 4.2 per cent, 3.68 per cent and 3.15 per cent, respectively.

However, on December 8, it had risen again to 4.23 per cent, falling again to 3.42 per cent on December 9 and 2.46 per cent on December 10. It had risen to 3.33 per cent again on December 11 and fell again to 2.64 per cent on December 12.

It rose marginally again to 2.74 on December 13, and fell again to 2.15 per cent on December 14.