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Kejriwal Writes To Lt Gov To Ease Weekend Curfew, WHO Warns Covid Pandemic ‘Is Nowhere Near Over’

The national capital is expected to record 10,500 Covid-19 cases on Friday, said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : January 21, 2022 2:13 PM IST

As Covid-19 cases decreases in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has reportedly written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, calling for easing some of the Covid-19 related restrictions including the weekend curfew and odd-even system of opening shops.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) announced the weekend curfew on January 7 after the city reported over 17,000 fresh Covid cases, with the positivity rate rising to 17.73 per cent, which was the highest in the last eight months.

Delhi has been witnessing a dip in the number of single-day cases. On Thursday, 12,306 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the national capital, as compared to 13,785 Covid-19 cases recorded the previous day. The Covid-19 positivity rate reduced to 21.48 per cent on Thursday from 23.86 per cent on Wednesday, according to the health bulletin data.

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According to state Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the city is likely to record 10,500 Covid-19 cases with a positivity rate between 17 and 18 per cent on Friday.

However, a Delhi government official said that private offices would continue to operate with 50 per cent capacity until further orders.

Covid pandemic not over: warns WHO

Meanwhile, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned global leaders that the Covid-19 pandemic "is nowhere near over".

Addressing a news conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Tedros said that the newly dominant Omicron variant had led to 18 million new infections across the world over the past week.

He cautioned that while the variant may prove to be less severe on average, "the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading" as it is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities.

The WHO chief particularly expressed concern about countries that have low vaccination rates, because "people are many times more at risk of severe illness and death if they are unvaccinated."

Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director, also warned that Omicron is likely to drive a rise in hospitalisations and deaths, especially in nations where fewer people are vaccinated.

With inputs from agencies

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