CM appeals to migrant labourers to return

Kejriwal says arrangements have been made to serve food to four lakh people

The Delhi government on Friday appealed to migrant workers scrambling to leave the city in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions to return as arrangements related to their sustenance, especially food, were being made.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the workers, from U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, and Bengal to return from the Delhi border even as he announced that a panel of senior doctors tasked with creating an SOP in this regard had put plans in place to handle a daily surge of 100 to 1,000 new COVID-19 patients.

He added that a pension of ₹5,000 each had been transferred to the bank accounts of eight lakh beneficiaries and ₹5,000 would further be transferred in the first week of April.


“We had our regular meeting of the apex committee dealing with COVID-19. We have discussed various issues, we first saw whether the systems to ensure the supply of essential services to the people are working at the ground level or not, and how to solve the problems and obstacles, if any,” Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal said at a joint digital press conference which he addressed with Mr. Kejriwal.

“We have also discussed going forward on dealing with the surge in the virus and protecting the people... on whatever is needed to improve and upgrade the healthcare services,” Mr. Baijal said.

Things were, Mr. Kejriwal said, “functioning smoothly” as of now. There were currently 40 COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi of which 29 had a travel history and 10 were via local transmission.


The situation was under control since there was no community transmission, but, he said the government had to be prepared and learn from other nations for the possibility of the epidemic reaching Stage 3.

“We have to think about whether we are ready to handle the outbreak in Delhi...I had formed a team of five doctors under Dr. Sareen, the head of ILBS hospital. The team submitted its report yesterday [Thursday] including a comprehensive plan of action on the preparations done in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi,” he said.

“We have everything prepared if we get 100, 500 or 1,000 new cases every day... We have a detailed action plan for arranging isolation beds, ventilators, ICU beds, PPE, testing mechanisms ambulances, medical staff... it is not like we expect this surge... but we are just avoiding taking a chance and preparing everything ahead,” he said.

Mr. Kejriwal stated that the Delhi government had arranged for food to be provided to 2,00,000 people from Friday and that they sought to double this number to four lakh by Saturday even as he appealed to migrant workers to return from Delhi’s borders.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 6:01:11 AM |

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