2nd wave of Covid wreaked havoc in Delhi in 2021; Omicron shadow in 2022

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 01-01-2022 15:47 IST | Created: 01-01-2022 15:37 IST
2nd wave of Covid wreaked havoc in Delhi in 2021; Omicron shadow in 2022
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
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The deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc in Delhi early last year, snuffing out many lives, burdening hospitals and doctors beyond their capacities even as the vaccination exercise injected some degree of confidence in a bid to bring life back on track.

However, just when the country and the capital city may have thought that they had put their worst behind them, fear of an imminent third wave now looms large with a surge in new infections of Covid, and cases of the new Omicron variant of the virus, which is highly transmissible, might derail the recovery made in the last few months.

India has recorded over 1,400 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus so far, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

Maharashtra has recorded the maximum number of 454 Omicron cases followed by Delhi (351), Kerala (118) and Gujarat (115).

About 38 per cent of the total samples analysed at various genome sequencing laboratories in Delhi from December 21-28, have been detected with Omicron variant, according to official documents.

Of the 468 samples analysed during this period, the Delta variant of coronavirus has been detected in 31 per cent of these samples, and rest 30 per cent constituted other variants, according to the documents.

A senior doctor here, on the condition of anonymity, has claimed that Omicron variant of Covid has ''begun to spread in the community'' as its carriers are mostly asymptomatic.

The sharp spike in cases of COVID-19 and of Omicron variant particularly and ensuing restrictions imposed by the government, is serving as a cruel reminder of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country when beds scarcity, oxygen shortage and a huge number of deaths, had given sleepless nights to people and government authorities alike.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, however, has asserted that Delhi is fully prepared to deal with the Covid situation.

The second wave had begun from April, 2021 and following a massive spike in cases, lockdown was imposed in the national capital to curb the spread of infection with Delta variant being dreaded more then.

Daily cases jumped into the range of several thousands as the wave took a more brutal turn with each passing day.

On April 1, the cumulative death toll due to coronavirus infection in Delhi had stood at 11,036, which more than doubled to 24,299 by June 1, according to official data.

Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had spiralled up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22. On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths, according to official figures.

And now with daily cases count registering a huge spike in the past few days, and positivity rate rising faster, the government has again brought in restrictions under the 'yellow alert' category of its graded response action plan.

Delhi on Friday recorded 1,796 fresh Covid cases, the highest single-day rise since May 22, and zero death while the positivity rate mounted to 2.44 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.

On Thursday, 1,313 cases were recorded with a positivity rate of 1.73 per cent, as per officials figures. The daily cases count had breached the 1000-mark after a gap of seven months.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on December 28 declared 'yellow alert' under which schools, colleges, cinemas and gyms shall be closed, shops dealing in non-essential items will open on odd-even basis, and metro trains and buses will run with 50 per cent of seating capacity in the city.

The spike in daily cases has come, months after the Dusshera and Diwali festivities, and days ahead of the New Year. Till restrictions were imposed, people continued to throng markets and held big gatherings, despite health experts cautioning them to not lower their guard.

Doctors treating Covid patients at leading government and private facilities in the city have already been saying that a ''sense of complacency'' has again crept in among a large section of citizens despite witnessing the ''horrors of the second wave'' of Covid. Health experts have also urged to expedite vaccination and that people who are not yet inoculated against Covid, to get their shots at the earliest.

The nationwide vaccination exercise had begun from January 16.

Doctors reckon that the vaccination has given some sort of protective layer to people, and though the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, most of the cases are asymptomatic, and not needing much hospital admission.

First dose of Covid vaccine has been administered to all people eligible for vaccination in Delhi, Kejriwal had said on December 24, as he hailed the healthcare and frontline workers who have been in the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.

However, towards the fag end of the year, a large number of these healthcare workers -- resident doctors at various hospitals here -- have been protesting by boycotting work for the last two weeks, demanding expediting of the NEET PG counselling process, which has affected patient care services, amid the Omicron scare.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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