Covid-19 Health Nation

COVID-19: Niti Aayog’s V K Paul warns Delhi to be watchful, says next 3 months important

New Delhi: Niti Aayog member V K Paul has cautioned the Delhi government to remain watchful as the next three months are important and unlocking the national capital can lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, PTI reported.

In the meeting which was held on July 9 of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Paul also recommended the authority to consult the Centre before imposing any travel restrictions in Delhi.

The minutes of the meeting which were released on July 20 quoted Paul as saying that “unlock activity could lead to an increase in cases, though at present the positivity rate of cases is at its lowest point.”

Stressing the need to be careful in the coming months as the possibility of third coronavirus wave looms, the Niti Aayog member of health said, “The next three months are important; we need to be watchful.”

On making RT-PCR mandatory for travelers coming to Delhi, Paul assured that the “advice of the Government of India should be taken before imposing any restrictions on the movement of inter-state travel with Delhi being the capital of the country”.

Meanwhile, quelling fears around the third wave, Dr Samrian Panda of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) told the DDMA that the third wave of COVID-19 is “unlikely to be as severe as the second wave”.

He said a third wave is possible if any new and more infectious variant of coronavirus emerges and bypass prior immunity in the absence of adequate lockdown measures.

“In the absence of these two factors, the projected third wave is unlikely to be as severe as the second wave. The timing of the third wave remains uncertain and it would be driven by factors outside the scope of modelling,” Panda added.

Delhi which was under lockdown since April started the unlock process in a phased manner on May 31. On April 20, Delhi had recorded 28,395 coronavirus cases — the highest-ever single-day rise. The city’s positivity rate had reached over 36% on April 22.