Cases of Omicron, the new highly infectious Covid variant, in Delhi have shot up from two to three per cent to 25 to 30 per cent of Covid cases in a span of two weeks, a genome sequencing lab in Delhi that’s part of INSACOG has said.
Dr Pramod Gautam, the genome analyst at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences or ILBS said, “Omicron cases are increasing without a doubt. Two weeks ago some 2-3 per cent of the samples we sequenced were positive for Omicron, but now 25-30% of cases are Omicron.”
He, however, added that the increase in percentage may also be due to more rigorous sequencing, since the labs were only sequencing international travellers initially.
The ILBS is currently running genome analysis for every positive sample from South Delhi district. The lab also analyses a chunk of positive samples from four other districts.
Data also shows that the average daily cases of Covid this time are rising at a rate that’s almost 21 per cent faster than they did in March-April during the second wave. A seven-day moving average showed that the cases have shot up from 56 to 199.
Yesterday, the national capital recorded 331 new cases — the biggest single-day spike in infections in more than six months. 142 of the new cases are of Omicron.
While the total figures are a fraction of the cases during the second wave, the trajectory shows the virus may spread much faster this time.
Delhi has declared “Yellow Alert” that imposes a series of restrictions as the positivity rate crossed the crucial mark of 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days.
Under the new restrictions, Schools, colleges and educational institutions, cinema halls and gyms will be shut and malls and shops will open on an odd-even basis within fixed hours. Delhi Metro will run with 50 per cent seating capacity. Night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am has already started.