Coronavirus: ‘No plans for lockdown in Delhi,’ says Arvind Kejriwal even as city records 3,594 cases
The chief minister said that the ongoing surge of the virus was a less potent one as fatality rates and cases with severe symptoms were lower.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that his government was not planning to impose a lockdown in the national Capital, even as he admitted that cases were rising exponentially in the city. Kejriwal made the announcement after a meeting with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and other officials.
The chief minister said that over 3,500 people tested positive for the virus in Delhi in the last 24 hours, pointing out that only 425 cases were detected less than a month ago on March 16.
Soon after, the government’s official release showed that 3,594 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, 28.81% higher than the 2,790 cases Delhi recorded on Thursday. The number of tests conducted also went up from 78,073 on Thursday, to 87,505 on Friday. Fourteen people died in the city in the last 24 hours, while the active caseload stood at 11,994.
“This wave is less serious than the previous ones as we are seeing lesser number of deaths and not as many people are required to be hospitalised,” the Delhi chief minister said. “At the peak [of cases] in October, nearly 1,700 people were admitted in Intensive Care Units of hospitals, but now the number is 800. Nearly 30-40 people were dying every day back then, but now we are seeing 10-12 deaths.” He, however, added that Delhi was going through the “fourth wave” of coronavirus, while it was the second one for the rest of the country.
Kejriwal also said that in Friday’s meeting, the government chalked out a plan on hospital management for ensuring the availability of beds, ambulances and ventilators.
Besides urging people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, Kejriwal also requested the Centre to widen the ambit of vaccination, both in terms of availability and eligibility. He said that the Centre should allow vaccination for all people without keeping any eligibility criteria and give permission to administer the shots at facilities other than hospitals and health centres.
“Initially it was thought that it is safe to give vaccines only in hospitals because of the side effects that might occur,” Kejriwal said. “But it has been four months now and we have hardly come across any serious cases of side effects. I would request the Centre to allow vaccination at other places so that we can make use of community centres and schools. We will ensure that ambulance and other required services are made available there.”