As many continue to take leeway during the festive season, Delhi's coronavirus patient has cautioned people to stay indoors as much as possible because "situation is not back to normal". Rohit Datta, who was diagnosed with the infection on March 1, appealed to the masses to "not lower guard" by getting into a casual festive mode.
Datta said he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at a time when the virus has already wreaked havoc in China and a few other countries. I was the first patient in Delhi. So much fear and uncertainty was there at that time. Despite all the research, the virus is still unpredictable, the 46-year-old told PTI. He said many residents were going out without wearing masks and violating social distancing norms. Some youths are also putting up pictures on social media of parties and events "as if it's all ok now".
Datta said it is still not ok and work is on for the elusive vaccine. The chances of infection being spread through symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers is huge during the festive season, he said. In his appeal ahead of Diwali, Datta also urged people to step out only for urgent matters and to take full precautions. "If you love your family, stay home this Diwali," he said.
Datta, who underwent treatment for the novel coronavirus infection at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, said he became quite spiritual after completing his 14-day isolation and often thanks the Almighty now. "My life is a blessing from God and the doctors who treated me," he said.
The first coronavirus patient further said he would often fight the feeling of fear and guilt as upon his return from Italy he was informed that he was the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Delhi."Today, I want to tell people to not take things casually. We hope that a vaccine is underway, but take all safety precautions especially in this festive season. Otherwise, we will have to face a tough situation again," he said.
The national capital on Wednesday recorded over 5,600 coronavirus cases for the first time, with the city witnessing a sudden surge in daily incidences in the past few days. According to the latest health department bulletin, the positivity rate has also jumped to 9.37 per cent, as the infection tally in the city mounted to over 3.7 lakh. Forty new fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,396.
The 5,673 fresh cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day, with the Delhi government scaling up RT-PCR tests, whose count stood at 17,284.
This is the first time when the number of daily cases in Delhi has crossed the 5,000-mark.
(With PTI inputs)