Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Capital’s third wave of coronavirus cases had been severe due to air pollution and other factors, ANI reported. Kejriwal requested the prime minister to intervene and stop stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states.
But Kejriwal also added that Delhi’s coronavirus cases and positivity rate had been steadily reducing since November 11, when the Capital registered a record 8,593 daily cases. He requested Modi to reserve 1,000 more intensive care unit beds in central government hospitals till Delhi’s third wave of coronavirus lasts.
The prime minister chaired a meeting with the chief ministers of Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana and Rajasthan to review the coronavirus situation in the respective states. These eight states have been worst-hit by the coronavirus in India.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, meanwhile, told Modi that he was holding discussions about the vaccine with Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla, ANI reported. Thackeray also said that he had formed a task force for the timely distribution of the vaccine.
The Chief Minister’s Office later said in a tweet that Thackeray informed the prime minister about the various steps the state government has taken to rein in the coronavirus spread.
Besides Maharashtra, Karnataka too said it was ready for delivery, distribution and administration of the Covid-19 vaccine, whenever it is ready, reported PTI. State Health Minister K Sudhakar said that the task force on Covid-19 recently met and reviewed preparations made for vaccine storage and delivery.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the prime minister that the coronavirus situation in the state was being handled aptly, PTI reported, citing an official. The official said that Banerjee also informed Modi about the discharge rate among the Covid-19 patients in the state, adding that the number of new infections were declining.
“Banerjee also reminded the prime minister of the GST dues,” the official said.
Several states in India are witnessing a worrying surge in cases, prompting the governments to reimpose restrictions. The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Assam to submit their coronavirus status reports within two days. The court noted that the situation in the country was likely to become worse and that all states must be prepared for it.
The Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for travelers from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa to carry a report showing that they are not infected with the coronavirus.
The Delhi government began reinstating coronavirus-related restrictions last week, starting with revising the limit on wedding guests from 200 to 50. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government also increased the fine for not wearing masks in the Capital to Rs 2,000 from Rs 500 to tackle the pandemic.
India’s coronavirus tally rose to 91,77,840 on Tuesday morning as it reported 37,975 new cases in 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 480 to 1,34,218. India’s recovered cases stood at 86,04,955, while the number of active cases was 4,38,667.