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Delhi issues mask advisory to symptomatic people amid surge in Covid cases

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj assured people that there was no need to panic since the hospitalisation rate is low.

March 30, 2023 / 04:39 PM IST
Delhi govt closely watching COVID-19 situation; Arvind Kejriwal's review meeting on March 31

Delhi govt closely watching COVID-19 situation; Arvind Kejriwal's review meeting on March 31

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on March 30 urged people experiencing flu-like symptoms and those visiting hospitals to wear masks as a precautionary measure as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the national capital.

There is no cause to panic even though the city’s Covid-19 positive rate has increased recently, Bhardwaj said.

“Positivity rate (of Covid-19 cases) is higher than 10 per cent, but the number of tests are low. There is no need to panic. People with flu-like symptoms and those visiting hospitals should wear masks,” said the health minister while addressing media persons following a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation. Senior health department representatives, medical directors of state-run institutions, epidemiologists and virologists attended the meeting.

The meeting was held a day after Delhi’s Covid cases reached 300 for the first time since August 31, 2022, and the positivity rate increased to 13.89 percent. On March 29, two more deaths were linked to Covid. The city has seen an increase in daily cases over the past several days after a dramatic rise in H3N2 influenza cases in the country.

Bhardwaj said that genome sequencing of samples is also being done and so far nothing alarming has been found. Speaking on the recent deaths, the health minister stated that the elderly individuals had comorbid conditions and that coronavirus was not the main cause of death.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will convene a review meeting on the subject on March 31.

“Delhi Govt is taking concrete steps in view of the increasing cases of Corona. Along with increasing the number of corona tests, a mock drill is also being done. The Delhi government under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is committed to prevent corona”, the minister tweeted.

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