Delhi's highest COVID-19 cases in 6 months; yellow alert likely
Delhi recorded 331 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, marking a huge jump from Sunday's tally of 290. One death was also reported during the same period. Monday's numbers are notably the highest in more than six months. Meanwhile, the daily positivity rate has reached 0.68%—up from 0.55% on Sunday. A yellow alert is likely to be issued bringing in more restrictions.
Why does it matter?
- Delhi's rising number of daily infections and positivity rate come amid growing concerns over the spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
- It is the most heavily mutated version of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 so far and is said to be highly infectious.
- With 142 cases, Delhi has also registered the highest number of Omicron cases among Indian states and union territories.
Active cases highest since June
Monday's case count is the highest since June 9 when 337 cases were logged in the capital. Further, the active COVID-19 caseload in Delhi now stands at 1,289—the highest since June. In recent days, Delhi has imposed several restrictions including a ban on Christmas and New Year-related gatherings. The city government on Sunday announced a night curfew which kicks in from Monday.
What happens if a yellow alert is issued?
According to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), a yellow alert in Delhi is sounded if the positivity rate breaches 0.5% for two straight days. If and when such an alert is issued, various curbs will be reintroduced. They include a closure of schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. Further, time and seating capacity restrictions will be imposed on non-essential shops, bars, and restaurants.
Omicron in Delhi and India
Delhi currently leads the state-wise tally of Omicron cases in India. It is followed by Maharashtra (141 infections), Kerala (57), Gujarat (49), Rajasthan (43), Telangana (41), and Tamil Nadu (34). Reportedly, 130 patients infected with Omicron have been discharged while no death due to the new strain has been detected in the country. Several other states have also announced night curfews and other curbs.