Delhi

Situation not normal, do not lower guard: Delhi’s 1st COVID-19 patient

People at a Dussehra event in Delhi.   | Photo Credit: AP

With experts predicting a major surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming months in Delhi, the city’s first COVID-19 patient on Wednesday cautioned people to stay indoors as much as possible during the festive season while emphasising that the situation is “not back to normal“.

Rohit Datta, who was diagnosed with the infection on March 1, made an appeal to the masses to “not lower our guard” by getting into a casual festive mode.

“I was diagnosed with COVID-19 at a time when the virus had 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 said. Mr. Datta cautioned that though the economy has been reopened people must realise that the situation in Delhi is “not back to normal”. He referred to many residents going out without wearing masks and violating social distancing norms, giving the example of youths who are putting up pictures on social media of parties and events “as if it’s all ok now“.

“It is still not ok and work is on for the elusive vaccine. In the festive season, the chances of infection being spread through symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers is huge,” he said.

Days before the festival of Deepavali, he urged people to step out only for urgent matters and to take full precautions. “If you love your family, stay home this Deepavali,” he said in his appeal to people.

Asked about his plan for Deepavali, Mr. Datta, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi who lives with his wife, two children and mother, said, “It will be a celebration of family bonds and nature“.

Family celebration

“For two years, our family has not burst crackers on Deepavali. This time, we will not step out at all. We will light ‘diyas’ to feel the power of nature and share sweets and warm moments with family members,” he said. “As they say, ‘Jaan hai to jehan hai’ (if you have life, you have the world), and I guess the adage applies aptly right now,” said the businessman.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 11:49:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/situation-not-normal-do-not-lower-guard-delhis-1st-covid-19-patient/article32967404.ece

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