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Home / India / Spike in Covid-19 cases: Mask mandate back in Delhi

Spike in Covid-19 cases: Mask mandate back in Delhi

Reports of infections from schools have triggered concerns weeks after they opened for offline classes following a two-year gap due to the pandemic
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo.

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 21.04.22, 01:38 AM

The Delhi government on Wednesday made masks mandatory in public places and announced a fine of Rs 500 on violators in view of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the capital.

Officials said the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in a meeting also decided not to shut schools but plan a separate standard operating procedure in consultation with experts. Schools will have to ensure that Covid protocols are strictly followed, the officials said.

Reports of infections from schools have triggered concerns weeks after they opened for offline classes following a two-year gap due to the pandemic.

Experts have been warning against closure of schools yet again, citing learning losses.

“Schools will not be closed and will continue with offline classes. Schools have been asked to report all cases to the education department and ensure that Covid protocols are followed strictly. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is constantly monitoring the situation in schools,” a senior official said.

The government is expected to issue an official order regarding the mandatory use of masks soon.

Sources said authorities had been asked to keep a close watch on social gatherings and ramp up testing in the national capital.

They said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was closely monitoring the situation and instructions had been issued to officials to take steps to check the spread of the virus.

At the DDMA meeting, emphasis was laid on vaccination, officials said. Several participants asserted that there was no need to panic as the number of hospitalisations was low despite a rise in Covid cases, they said.

It was highlighted that the trends of hospitalisation needed to be closely monitored over the next fortnight and genome sequencing of all positive samples conducted.

It was also decided to raise the number of tests being done with a focus on people with symptoms, they said.

According to official figures, there are 9,735 beds for Covid patients in Delhi hospitals and just 80 (0.82 per cent) of them are occupied.

On Tuesday, Delhi recorded a nearly 26 per cent jump in fresh Covid-19 cases.

The health department said 632 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday and the positivity rate was 4.42 per cent.

The city had on Monday recorded 501 cases and no deaths while the positivity rate stood at 7.72 per cent.

The number of daily Covid-19 cases in Delhi had touched a record high of 28,867 on January 13 during the third wave of the pandemic.

The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic, which was largely driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus.



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