Cases at 1-month low, fight not over: Kejriwal

COVID-19 patients at an isolation centre managed by the Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the national capital had dipped to around 8,500 — the lowest in over a month — while the test positivity rate and number of hospitalised patients too had come down.

He, however, added that Delhi’s battle against the virus was far from over.

Mr. Kejriwal also announced that the State government will bear the cost of raising and educating children who have lost their parents to COVID-19. Financial help will also be extended to senior citizens and families who have lost their earning members to the pandemic.

“In these times of despair, I wish to bring some good news. In the past 24 hours, less than 10,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Delhi has recorded around 8,500 cases. There were over 28,000 cases on April 20. It is the first time in many days that the number of cases has been less than 10,000,” Mr. Kejriwal said in a video message.

“The infection rate [test positivity rate] has also gone down and was only 12% over the past 24 hours. On April 22, the infection rate was 36%. A higher infection rate implies the virus is widely spread,” he added.

Due to fewer people falling ill, the number of patients in hospitals has also come down, the CM said, adding: “In the past 10 days, the number has dipped by over 3,000 and an equal number of beds are now available in hospitals.”

Most ICU beds are, however, still occupied, which means the number of serious patients has not declined by much. The government is working on setting up 1,200 more ICU beds within a day or two, he said.

“We imposed a very strict lockdown but the battle is not won yet. We have to end the novel coronavirus entirely,” Mr. Kejriwal said, adding: “If we do not take precautions, cases will increase again. The lockdown has to be adhered to strictly.”

Future spurt

The government is setting up more oxygen and ICU beds and buying thousands of oxygen cylinders to tackle a future spurt in cases, the Chief Minister said.

Talking about families who had lost their earning members or children who had lost their parents to COVID-19, Mr. Kejriwal said: “They will all be helped by the government, but such children and families need love. They need empathy. I request their neighbours and kin to take care of them.”

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:52:29 PM |

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