No possibility of lockdown in Delhi, says Health Minister

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Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said the government is not thinking about imposing a lockdown and urged the people to celebrate Holi inside their homes.

“As of now there is no possibility of another lockdown. We had tried it earlier with not much success. Experts had said that due to its 14-day cycle [of the infection], a 21-day lockdown would stop the spread of the virus but that did not happen. So for me, lockdown is no solution,” he said.

The Delhi government capped the gatherings at open wedding venues at 200 and at 100 in case of closed spaces; only 50 persons will be allowed at funerals till April 30 given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, according to an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

For the third consecutive day on Saturday, Delhi witnessed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases. A total of 1,558 new cases were reported over 24 hours — the highest in more than 100 days — taking the tally to 6,55,834, stated a health bulletin released by the Delhi government. The last time more number of cases were reported in a day was on December 15, when the Capital witnessed 1,617 cases.

Ten more deaths

Ten deaths were reported over 24 hours, pushing the tally to 10,997. A total of 91,703 tests were conducted in a day, the bulletin said.

Of the total cases, 6,38,212 people have recovered and there are 6,625 active cases. The positivity rate was 1.7% on Saturday and the overall positivity till now has been 4.58%, stated the bulletin.

“We have increased the rate of testing with around 85,000-90,000 tests being conducted each day. This is five times more than the country’s average testing. Isolation and contact tracing is also being done i.e. 30-40 people being traced for each COVID-positive patient in order to contain it as fast as possible,” Mr. Jain said, adding that around 80% of beds in hospitals are vacant.

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