Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday claimed that the coronavirus situation in the national Capital is under control, ANI reported. The health minister said the Delhi government is undertaking containment, contact tracing and isolation strategies to tackle the pandemic.
“Dr VK Paul’s expert committee had said that due to cold and festive season, cases [per day] can spike up to 12,000-14,000 but right now it’s around 4,000, so situation is contained,” the health minister said, referring to a report prepared by the National Centre for Disease Control that asked Delhi to prepare for an increase of 15,000 daily coronavirus cases during the winter season. The government institute said that festive gatherings, seasonal illnesses and influx of patients from outside would add to the city’s tally.
Jain’s statement comes at a time when cases in Delhi have surged again after dropping for days, which experts believe is because of the festival season. Last month, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had asked to prepare a revised plan to fight the pandemic.
On Saturday, Delhi recorded 4,116 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day increase in 35 days. This is the second consecutive day when over 4,000 cases were reported in the city. On Friday, 4,086 cases were recorded. Delhi now has total 3,52,520 coronavirus cases, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 6,225.
But Jain claimed the situation was under control.“We are focused on containment, contact tracing and isolation to tackle situation,” he said.
‘MCD has money for hoardings, not for doctors’ salaries,’ says Jain
Jain also took a swipe at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, saying the civic body had funds for putting up hoardings but not for paying doctors their salaries.
Resident doctors and paramedical staff members from three North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run hospitals have been protesting over non-payment of their salaries for the last three months. On Thursday, they staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar. The protestors belonged to Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and Rajen Babu Tuberculosis Hospital.
“Salaries are paid by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi...Instead of paying doctors’ salaries, don’t know where MCD is spending its funds,” Jain said. “They have money for hoardings but not for salaries.”
Earlier, the Delhi health minister had said that his government has written a letter to Bharatiya Janata Party led Municipal Corporation of Delhi asking them to handover hospitals to Delhi government as the MCD is “not able to properly run and manage their hospitals”.
The letter stated that serious concerns have been raised regarding non-payment of salaries and other dues to the medical, paramedical and other staff working in Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and others run by the civic body.