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Coronavirus in Delhi: Schools unlikely to open till there is a vaccine, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain

09:53 PM Nov 26, 2020 | FPJ Web Desk

As Delhi battles the third coronavirus wave, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said that the schools in the national capital will not open till the vaccine against COVID-19 is available.

"There are no plans to open the schools as of now. A vaccine is likely to become available soon. Until we are completely sure about the situation being in control, schools are unlikely to open in Delhi,” said Jain.

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Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had on Tuesday said that there are no chances of reopening of schools any time soon. Sisodia added that the parents would not want to risk their children's health.

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"No chances of schools opening soon. No parent would want to send their children until they are assured that they will be safe," Sisodia said.

Meanwhile, Jain on Thursday also said the testing capacity for COVID-19 has reached the "saturation level" in the national capital and laboratories here are finding it difficult to release results of all RT-PCR tests within a day.

As many as 61,778 tests, including 26,080 RT-PCR -- the highest till date for the city -- and 35,698 rapid antigen tests, were conducted on Tuesday for the detection of COVID-19.

"The testing has reached the saturation level. Many people now say they were tested just two to three days ago," Jain told reporters.

The minister said the government had issued directions to increase the number of RT-PCR tests to 35,000, but the laboratories are now finding it difficult to release all test results within a day. "This is one new problem that has emerged," he added.

Jain said the positivity rate came down to 8.49 per cent on Wednesday, the lowest since October 28, from 15.26 per cent on November 7.

The number of unoccupied beds has also increased to 9,138 from 7,844 four days ago. The number of ICU beds available has also risen to 1,057 in the last few days, he said.

More than 50 per cent beds reserved for coronavirus patients are vacant in Delhi hospitals, he said.

Meanwhile, Delhi recorded 5,246 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as the positivity rate declined to 8.49 per cent, while 99 more fatalities pushed the city's death toll to 8,720.

It was after five days that the national capital recorded single-day death count below 100.

(With PTI inputs)

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