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New Delhi reports new COVID-19 spike

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A staff member cleans medical equipment inside a ward set up for Omicron coronavirus variant infected people at the Civil Hospital.

INDIA: Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that the omicron variant of COVID-19 was spreading in Delhi, accounting for nearly a half of the samples tested amid a surge in new infections.

There has been a sharp rise in COVID-19 figures in the Indian capital over the past few days. There were 923 new cases on Thursday, an 86 percent increase in 24 hours.

“The new, fast-spreading variant of concern is gradually spreading in the community,” Jain said in a press conference.

He added that the omicron variant was detected in 46 percent of the samples tested.

The rapid increase in cases has raised concerns over the COVID-19 response as hospitals are not working at full capacity amid an ongoing nationwide strike of doctors, who have limited non-emergency services.

The protests started in December after months of delays on post-graduate student admissions at government health facilities. The admissions process has been stalled by legal disputes, including a controversy over reserved spaces for poorer Indians.

While India has one of the worst doctor-to-patient ratios in the world — just 1.34 to 1,000 — some 45,000 young doctors who passed post-graduate exams last year have been idle due to the delay. “Hospitals across India are working with only two-third capacity because of the delay in the admission process,” Dr. Suvrankar Datta, an official for the Federation of All India Medical Association, a doctor’s group in support of the strike, told Arab News on Thursday.

“We have genuine demands. They should have thought of improving the medical infrastructure and taken proactive steps to address the demands of doctors.” – ARAB NEWS

Saturday, January 1, 2022 – 01:00

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