Delhi

Bury differences, join hands to battle COVID-19 in Delhi: Amit Shah tells all-party meet

Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a meeting with the leaders of all political parties of Delhi to discuss the novel coronavirus situation, at North Block in New Delhi, Monday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a meeting with the leaders of all political parties of Delhi to discuss the novel coronavirus situation, at North Block in New Delhi, Monday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Leaders of the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress and the BSP attended the meeting.

The Centre and the Delhi government are planning to rope in members of political parties and those who have recovered from COVID-19 to volunteer, as they looked for ways to contain the rising number of cases in Delhi. 

On Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called an all-party meeting of Delhi based political parties to discuss the situation. Delhi has recorded more than 41,000 COVID-19 cases and around 1300 deaths so far.

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Ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Sanjay Singh, who attended the meeting, said that from June 20, testing (per million) would be increased to 18,000 a day from 14,390 tests conducted on June 14.

“The Home Minister said that all political parties will have to fight the infection together, keeping differences aside. We will appeal to people who have recovered from COVID to come forward and assist the system, this also includes doctors who have recovered. Since there is no known case in India of a person being infected again, their services will be of immense help”, Mr. Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, said. As on June 14, the number of patients who had recovered from the infection stood at 15,823.

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Members of political parties would also be used as volunteers. Beds numbering 1,900 were being added in the Delhi government-run hospitals and 1,178 and 2,000 in private and Central government hospitals respectively. If need arose, additional 500 railway coaches that have 8,000 beds would be added. Currently, the Delhi government has 9,993 beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients. Of them, 4,477 were vacant as on June 14.

On Sunday, Mr. Shah met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and it was decided to provide 500 railway coaches for COVID-19 patients.

Shah visits LNJP hospital

On Monday, Mr. Shah visited the Delhi government’s LNJP hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility. 

Delhi State Congress chief Anil Chaudhary said the party had submitted 11-point suggestions to the Home Minister recommending that sports stadiums be used for treating COVID-19 patients. 

“We have been told about a test that will give results in15 minutes. It costs Rs. 450 and will be used soon for mass testing. Senior IAS officers are being appointed to coordinate between the State and Central governments”, Mr. Singh said. 

No lockdown again

There was no talk of imposing the lockdown again, he said. 

When asked if lockdown had failed to stop the spread of infection, Mr. Singh said, “the condition is worse in Delhi and Mumbai as they received the maximum number of international flights”.

A statement issued by the Home Ministry said, “Mr. Shah appealed all parties to rise above political differences in the interest of people. Political unity will create confidence among the public and lead to improvement in the pandemic situation in the capital”.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:44:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/bury-differences-join-hands-to-battle-covid-19-in-delhi-amit-shah-tells-all-party-meet/article31833389.ece

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