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  4. Covid is back: Almost half of the households in Delhi NCR have one or more family member unwell, says LocalCircles survey

Covid is back: Almost half of the households in Delhi NCR have one or more family member unwell, says LocalCircles survey

Covid is back: Almost half of the households in Delhi NCR have one or more family member unwell, says LocalCircles survey
  • Despite the fact that the majority of people in Delhi NCR have not been tested for Covid, the city is still seeing test positivity rates of over 32%.
  • 45% of respondents surveyed in Delhi NCR have confirmed that one or more members of their household have Covid.
  • 50% of those unwell are taking paracetamol; 38% are using cough syrup; 38% are taking home remedies like warm fluids with herbs, spices and tea.

Even though the number of new Covid cases reported daily is not significant anymore as most individuals experiencing Covid symptoms are choosing not to get tested, what is important is the test positivity rate which indicates the prevalence of the Covid virus. Currently, at a national level, India's Covid test positivity rate is just over 8%. However, Delhi is reporting a test positivity rate of more than 32%, a rate that was not observed during any of the three waves of Covid in 2020, 2021 and 2022, reveals a survey by LocalCirles, a community social media platform.

Home remedies a popular choice to combat Covid symptoms

When the survey asked the respondents about the medication or remedies they or their family members were taking, some of the 10,098 participants indicated more than one option. The majority, 50%, reported taking paracetamol, while 38% reported using cough syrup, and another 38% mentioned consuming home remedies like warm fluids infused with herbs, spices, tea, etc.

Additionally, 25% reported using ointments for cold/congestion, 25% are taking anti-allergy tablets, and 25% are using steam inhalation. Moreover, 38% stated that they were taking Ayush medicines, and 13% confirmed taking antibiotics, despite government and health experts' warnings not to take antibiotics for Covid unless prescribed by a doctor.

Basic precautions not being followed

Despite the fact that a majority of people in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) have not been tested for Covid, the city is still seeing test positivity rates of over 32%. As a result, nearly every other household currently has one or more members who are suffering from Covid. This information is supported by the survey finding, which states that 45% of respondents have confirmed that one or more members of their household have Covid, and 80% of those respondents reported that 2-4 or more members of their household have the virus, highlighting the highly infectious nature of the current dominant Covid variant XBB.1.16.

What makes this situation different from before is that most people are not following basic precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, nor are they adhering to quarantine norms. In many cases, people are going to work or school and using public transport while exhibiting symptoms, which is causing the virus to spread rapidly.

Most of the people living in Delhi NCR may have already experienced Covid-19 infection for the second or third time. “This raises concerns among some public health experts about whether Covid-19 will become an endemic disease like the flu, or if it is a blood vessel disease that could cause medium to long-term health issues for those who get infected repeatedly,” says the report. If it is the latter case, we may be facing a prolonged health pandemic, and prevention would be the only viable strategy.

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