Omicron scare: Lockdown in Delhi again? Here's what Health Minister Satendar Jain said
New Delhi, Dec 07: As Delhi reports its first case of Omicron COVID-19 variant, Health Minister Satyendar Jain ruled out the possibility of lockdown any time soon but asserted that the city government is closely monitoring the situation.
The Omicron variant is spreading out of a few countries, and "we are putting focus on testing, tracing and isolation of passengers" coming from foreign countries, especially the countries affected by the new variant.
Jain on Monday said, the Delhi government has already put in place a "graded response action plan", and it will be implemented accordingly, as and when the cases and positivity rate rise.
He said the Delhi government authorities are "testing all people coming from the countries affected by the Omicron variant", and cautioned that this variant is far more transmissible than the Delta variant, adding the situation is being "closely monitored".
So far, a total of 27 people have been sent to LNJP Hospital, out of which 17 were found Covid-positive, and only one person has been confirmed to have been inflected with Omicron variant, and investigation is on to trace others, if any. All these patients have been admitted at the hospital, and many of them are asymptomatic, he told reporters.
The rest 10 people, who tested negative are those who came into close contact of people found Covid positive.
The genome sequencing of samples taken from 12 patients has been done, out of which only one was found positive with Omicron variant, and results of samples of rest five infected patients are expected in 2-3 days, he added.
When asked if there is a possibility of a lockdown, he ruled out the possibility of a lockdown in the national capital.
"There is no possibility of lockdown at the moment," he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Delhi health department.
In the last five months, positivity rate has hovered much below 0.50 per cent and daily cases have stood in the range of 30-60 or so, he told reporters.
According to the graded response system, when the positivity rate will reach to 0.50 per cent, that is, out of 1,000 people tested, five are positive, then the first level of this system will be implemented, the Delhi health minister said.
(With PTI inputs)