Amid a rise in coronavirus cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday directed district magistrates to ensure no Christmas and New Year gathering takes place in the national capital.
It ordered the district magistrates (DMs) to identify potential COVID-19 superspreader areas ahead of Christmas and New Year.
The district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) have also been directed to tighten the enforcement machinery to ensure that people follow social-distancing norms and wear masks.
"All district magistrates shall conduct an intensive survey of the entire area falling under their jurisdiction and identify those pockets, colonies markets and crowded places which have the potential of becoming superspreaders of coronavirus and its Omicron variant," the DDMA said in the order.
It stated that all DMs and DCPs shall deploy a sufficient number of enforcement teams on the field for keeping utmost vigil at public places to enforce strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour to avoid any possible surge in COVID-19 cases.
The move comes after the Centre issued an advisory to states yesterday, asking them to "activate" war rooms, and analyze even small trends.
In a letter to the states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised implementing strategic interventions for containment like imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals besides increasing testing and surveillance.
The letter also highlighted the measures that need to be taken in view of initial signs of a surge in cases of Covid-19 as well as increased detection of the variant of concern omicron in different parts of the country.
However, experts guiding the Centre’s pandemic response is almost certain of the shrinking epidemic reversing course and flaring up into an omicron-driven third wave of infections.
The experts told The Telegraph that the apparent lack of omicron-driven surges documented anywhere in the country merely implies that omicron cases have not reached a critical count threshold yet beyond which the numbers of infections start to balloon.
“We will see an omicron wave — this is guaranteed,” said Anurag Agrawal, a pulmonary medicine specialist-turned-scientist and director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi.
“But when it will start, how long it will last and how high it will rise are questions to which no one has answers for now,” he said.