Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the city may expect up to 3100 cases of Covid-19, a jump from 2716 cases reported on January 1. However most of the cases were mild and only 84 oxygen beds in the city were occupied, he revealed, urging the population not to panic.
The number of detected Omicron cases in Delhi is now 315 which is second only behind Maharashtra. 57 of those patients have been discharged and cases are mild with no reports of severe disease according to senior health officials.
On January 1, Delhi recorded a huge surge of 2,716 fresh Covid-19 cases, a spike of 920 infections when compared to the previous day's tally of 1,796. This was the biggest jump in single-day case count in the national capital since May 21 when 3,009 infections were logged amid the second wave of the pandemic.
Delhi is currently under Yellow Alert under the Graded Response Action Plan due to consecutive increases in the number of fresh Covid cases per day. A night curfew was imposed since last Tuesday, from 10 PM to 5 AM in order to curb crowding before New Year's. Schools, colleges, movie theatres and gyms will remain shut, and markets and shopping malls will operate on an odd-even basis.
Despite the relative mildness of Omicron infections reported, health officials have come out against assertions that catching Omicron could act as a "natural vaccine". Noted virologist Shahid Jameel said it is a dangerous idea spread by irresponsible people.
"It breeds complacency and is rooted more in pandemic fatigue and the inability to do more, than in evidence available at this time," PTI quoted Jameel as saying.
Jameel said that those propagating the natural vaccine theory don't take into account the effects of "long Covid". This was especially relevant in India where Covid-19 could take a long toll on those exposed to heavy pollution, diabetes and malnutrition, all of which could worsen the existing disease, he said.