NEW DELHI: Delhi is expected to add 17,000 cases to its coronavirus infection tally with a positivity rate of around 17 per cent on Friday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.
He said Delhi is the first to witness a surge in infections because most of the international flights come to the capital.
"That is the reason we have implemented stricter measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 as compared to other states. Some people may say that this is not needed but it is better than repenting later," Jain told reporters.
On the World Health Organisation terming the Omicron variant of coronavirus "mild", the minister said only experts will be able to tell if it is mild or not.
"I can give you the data I have. Delhi has around 31,498 active cases and only 1,091 hospital beds are occupied. When we had an equal number of cases last time, around 7,000 beds were occupied," Jain said.
The minister said authorities have devised different levels of restrictions and alerts under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) keeping in view the severity of infections caused by the Delta variant of coronavirus.
"A total of 15,000 cases in a day would have meant 3,000 to 4,000 hospital admissions had this wave of infections being driven by the Delta variant. Hospital admissions now are not even 10 per cent of it (number of daily cases). So, there is a lot of difference and we have to accept it," he said.
When Delhi had 30,000 active cases last time, 1,000 patients were on ventilator support as compared to 24 now.
This means the severity of infection is less this time, he added.
Asked why many patients who do not need oxygen support are in hospitals, Jain cited the example of Lok Nayak Hospital.
He said there are around 95 Covid patients in the Lok Nayak Hospital.
Only 14 of them need oxygen support.
Others are in the hospital because they suffer from other problems, such as cancer or kidney ailments, besides Covid