Delhi Govt Announces Free Booster Doses Amid Spike In COVID Numbers, New Omicron Variant Scare

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Delhi Govt Announces Free Booster Doses Amid Spike In COVID Numbers, New Omicron Variant Scare

Amid the increasing number of COVID cases across Delhi, the state government decided to reverse its order removing the fine on masks. Once again, wearing masks have been made mandatory, and the Rs 500 penalty was re-imposed by a ruling on Wednesday.

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All hospitals run by the Delhi government are handing out the precautionary COVID vaccine dose for free to the age group of 18-59 years. This move from the Arvind Kejriwal-led government came in on April 21 evening, as the national capital recorded yet another uptick in the daily COVID tally. "In order to give the benefit of precaution dose to all eligible beneficiaries in Delhi, the same will be available for 18 to 59 years' age group, free of cost in all government CVCs from April 21," the health department announced in their official release.

Furthermore, all required changes have also been made in the Co-WIN portal for Delhi, which now allows both "online appointment and walk-in will be available," the release was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Now, Wearing Masks Mandatory In Delhi

The national capital logged 965 new COVID cases in the past on April 21, with a positivity rate of 4.71 per cent. Meanwhile, one individual died due to the novel virus, as per the official data from the health department.

Earlier on April 20, Delhi had reported 1,009 coronavirus cases and one death, which was the maximum since February 10 and had a 5.7 per cent positivity rate.

Amid the increasing number of COVID cases across Delhi, the state government decided to reverse its order removing the fine on masks. Once again, wearing masks have been made mandatory, and the Rs 500 penalty was re-imposed by a ruling on Wednesday.

New COVID Variants

While there is a fear of a fourth COVID-19 wave hitting India this year, particularly the national capital, health experts on April 21 added more fuel to the fire after announcing the possibility of new COVID variants emerging from the Omicron, and they are being sequenced.

The Omicron COVID variant, first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa back in November 20211, triggered the massive surge in COVID cases worldwide.

While speaking to news agency ANI, the Director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Dr SK Sarin, stated that there is a possibility of new Omicron variants in Delhi while adding that the samples at the ILBS lab have been sequenced.

Furthermore, the health expert also warned the world and urged them to be careful. He stated, "There is a fear that children may get infected because they are not adequately vaccinated. People must wear masks."

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