Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday attributed the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Capital to an increase in the number of tests and said that the situation was under control.
He said that the number of tests in Delhi has been doubled, which could be seen as the government launching a counter-attack against the coronavirus. “Till a week ago, we were conducting around 17,000-20,000 tests per day,” Kejriwal said at a press briefing. “We have now increased the testing to 40,000.”
Delhi on Friday reported 2,914 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to over 1.85 lakh. The toll stood at 4,513.
The Delhi chief minister said that there was no reason to panic about the rising number of cases, adding that only an increase in the toll should be a cause of concern.
“There should not be deaths due to the coronavirus,” he said. “Yesterday [Friday], 2,914 cases were reported but only 13 people died....the figure is the lowest not only in the country but the world. This means that yesterday’s [Friday’s] death rate was 0.4%.”
Kejriwal compared the current figures to that of June 27 when, according to him, nearly 3,000 cases were reported and 66 people had died. Now, the toll has come down between 10-20 each day, he said.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government has taken various steps to bring down the toll, including conducting audits of hospitals to find out the reasons for deaths in each hospital.
He said that the recovery rate in Delhi was 87%, which was higher than the national average of 77%.
On the measures taken by the government to improve testing in the Capital, Kejriwal said camps have been set up in markets and at bus stands and that testing was being done at mohalla clinics as well.
Kejriwal claimed that the Delhi government’s decision to increase the number of tests had faced opposition. However, he did not name those who opposed it. “We spoke to everyone [opposing the decision] and convinced them,” he said. “Now, all have come together in support of the move.”
The chief minister also addressed questions on the lack of beds in Delhi, saying that there are about 14,000 beds dedicated to coronavirus patients. He said only 5,000 beds are occupied, out of which 1,600-1,700 are taken by non-Delhi residents.
He cautioned people to be not careless and to follow virus-related guidelines such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, and advised people to get tested if they show symptoms of the infection.
Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain reiterated Kejriwal’s comments that the situation in the Capital was under control, ANI reported. He said the Covid positivity rate was close to 8% and the fatality rate was around 0.5%.