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Delhi News highlights: Delhi logs 15,097 new Covid-19 cases, 6 deaths; positivity rate climbs to 15.34%


Delhi News Highlights: With the latest addition, the cumulative caseload has gone up to 14,89,463 while the death toll rose to 25,127. The number of active cases in the capital now stands at 31,498.

Delhi on Thursday reported 15,097 fresh Covid-19 cases and six deaths, as the positivity rate also shot up to 15.34 per cent. With the latest addition, the cumulative caseload has gone up to 14,89,463 while the death toll rose to 25,127. The number of active cases in the capital now stands at 31,498. Almost 1 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. Delhi had on Wednesday reported 10,665 fresh Covid-19 cases and eight deaths with a positivity rate of 11.88 per cent. With one more case of Omicron variant reported, the tally of such cases has risen to 465 in Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that the national capital is expected to log over 14,000 cases on Thursday, while adding that the Covid situation in the city was under control. “Delhi in a comfortable position in terms of hospital bed occupancy. No need for lockdown right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the High Court Thursday asked the Delhi government to inform it about the spread of Omicron in Delhi and said that it would like to know the percentage of severe cases among those infected with the new variant. The court sought to know about the number of Omicron cases among the patients who are in ICUs, on ventilators or need oxygen support. The Delhi government submitted that it will apprise the court about the exact position in the city on the next date of hearing, which is February 1.

In other news, a massive fire broke out at Lajpat Rai Market in Chandni Chowk on Thursday morning. At least 12 fire tenders were rushed to the site. Luckily, no casualties were reported, but several shops are said to have been gutted. According to Delhi Fire Services (DFS), the blaze started from a shop at the Lajpat Rai market opposite Red Fort. Atul Garg, DFS chief, said, “We received a call at around 4.45 am about the fire. The team rushed to the spot and 12 fire tenders were deployed. The fire spread to a few other shops which were gutted.

1,116 out of 12,104 oxygen beds in Delhi hospitals occupied

A total of 1,142 Covid-19 oxygen beds out of 12,156 beds are occupied in Delhi hospitals, while 71 ICU beds with ventilators have patients, with hospitals saying that a majority of hospitalised patients are those with comorbidities and elderly.

Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital’s medical director Suresh Kumar said only four coronavirus patients are on ventilator support at the facility and they have comorbid conditions. The hospital at present has 35 patients who are suspected to have contracted the Omicron variant of the virus. Their genome sequencing reports are awaited, while 150 patients infected with the variant of concern have been discharged from the hospital since December 1.

Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain allayed fears about the numbers showing on the Delhi Corona mobile application and said most of the hospital beds in the city are oxygen beds and a patient occupying an oxygen bed does not necessarily mean that he requires the life-saving gas. He also said of the 750 beds in LNJP hospital, 500 are oxygen beds. The minister noted that the discrepancy in the data on hospital bed occupancy on the Delhi Corona app and the government’s health bulletin is because “most beds in the hospitals have been converted into oxygenated beds”. 

DU Teachers’ Association holds strike over funds

Several teaching and non-teaching staff of the Delhi University on Thursday participated in a day-long strike called by the DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA) against the alleged funds cut of 12 colleges by the city government.

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi, who is the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education (Delhi Vidhan Sabha), called the allegations “completely baseless and mala fide” and said the funds were released well ahead of time.

In a statement, the DUTA said the “unjustified funds cut” has resulted in non-payment of salaries to thousands of employees of these 12 colleges for the past two-six months and non-reimbursement of medical bills, allowances, arrears etc for the past two years thereby making these 12 colleges “financially sick”. The protest was led by DUTA president Prof Ajay Kumar Bhagi, office bearers, DUTA executives and all the teaching and non-teaching fraternity of DU who boycotted online classes and administrative work. 

Delhi govt to deploy volunteers at fair price shops to ensure adherence to Covid norms

With a steep rise in coronavirus cases, the Food and Supply Department has decided to deploy volunteers to ensure health guidelines are followed by beneficiaries and the staff at all fair price shops in Delhi, an official statement said. These instructions were issued by Food and Supply Minister Imran Hussain after a high-level meeting of the department with other stakeholders of the public distribution system on Thursday.

“The minister directed the Food & Civil Supplies department officials to ensure that civil defence volunteers deputed at FPSs should monitor all the beneficiaries are wearing masks and are following social distancing norms,” the statement said.

It added that Hussain also directed officials to ensure that FPS dealers adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour at all times during the ration distribution. He also said that coronavirus pandemic guidelines should be followed while lifting ration from godowns.

Delhi’s air quality improves to ‘poor’ after rains; maximum temperature 21.1 deg C

Delhi’s air quality improved to the “poor” category on Thursday due to intermittent rains while the city’s maximum temperature settled at 21.1 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season’s average.

The 24-hour air quality index (AQI) of Delhi read 258 at 4 pm on Thursday, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The AQIs of its neighbouring cities — Faridabad (219), Noida (252), Gurugram (224) — were also recorded in the “poor” category. However, the AQI in Greater Noida (182) and Ghaziabad (179) was recorded in the “moderate” category.

The national capital’s AQI at 8 am on Thursday was 339, which falls in the “very poor” category. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”. 

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