Arvind Kejriwal: Delhi Covid-19 situation should come under control in 7-10 days

Arvind Kejriwal said, “We have been taking all appropriate measures to control it. We are considering taking more steps next week. I think the situation should come under control in 7 to 10 days and the cases should start decreasing.”

A day after Delhi reported 7,053 new cases and 104 Covid deaths, the highest so far, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said the situation in the national capital should come under control in seven to 10 days and that his government is taking several steps in this regard next week. The total number of Covid-19 infections has crossed 4.67 lakh in Delhi and the death toll has risen to 7,332. On Wednesday, the city had recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases.

Addressing a press conference, the chief minister said, “COVID-19 cases have been increasing for the last few days. I am also concerned about it. We have been taking all appropriate measures to control it. We are considering taking more steps next week. I think the situation should come under control in 7 to 10 days and the cases should start decreasing.”

The Chief Minister also blamed pollution for the surge in coronavirus cases in the city. “Pollution is biggest reason behind the spike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi. We had situation under control until October 20,” Kejriwal added.

Asserting that the anti-stubble solution prepared by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, decomposed 70 to 95 per cent of crop residue in 24 villages in Delhi, Kejriwal said his government will submit the report along with a petition to Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas, and urge it to issue directions to all state government to implement it.

On Thursday, the state government told the Delhi High Court that it will request the Lieutenant Governor for a meeting of the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the city, including unlock norms.

The Delhi government has since May maintained that a lockdown was not the solution and that people would have to learn to live with the virus and governments would have to strengthen the healthcare system.

According to Delhi government officials, though, locking down again was much easier said than done. “Some states were averse to unlocking but it did not slow down the spread of the disease as they had hoped it would. One of the biggest reasons Delhi is seeing such high cases is that it is testing the most in the country. Even today, we did over 60,000 tests. Anyone can come forth and get tested in Delhi; there are no restrictions, unlike in some other states,” said a senior Delhi government official.

According to the unlock guidelines passed by the Centre, states are not allowed to impose lockdown without consulting it. Another official said several options are still open. “We haven’t ruled anything out but any decision can be taken only after meeting the stakeholders. It is a situation that requires reassessment but experts have said that the third wave is expected to start abating soon,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court Thursday permitted the Delhi government to enforce its order asking 33 major private hospitals to reserve 80% ICU beds for coronavirus patients. It vacated a stay order on the matter passed by a single bench last month, on a petition filed by a group of healthcare providers, noting that the ground reality had “radically changed” since then.

 

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