Delhi

Delhi government fully prepared to handle COVID-19 crisis: Kejriwal

‘Unoccupied DUSIB flats, rooms in under-construction hospitals being readied’

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, after a meeting to review preparedness for fighting COVID-19 in the wake of four confirmed cases in the Capital, said that the Delhi government is fully prepared to handle the crisis. All the measures in the wake of the outbreak of the disease were reviewed at the meeting, he said.

Officials of the Delhi government, as well as Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, were present at the meeting with Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday.

Referring to the decisions of the Delhi government of declaring COVID-19 an epidemic and closing cinema halls, colleges and schools where exams are not under way, till March 31, Mr. Kejriwal said: “Some new decisions were taken today. All cinema houses shall remain closed till March 31. All schools and colleges shall also remain closed till March 31, except for the ones where exams are going on. We have sufficient beds in case people are to be quarantined.”

‘500 beds ready’

The Chief Minister also said that the Delhi government was arranging DUSIB flats which have remained unoccupied for long, and rooms in under-construction hospitals of the Delhi government for the purpose. “More than 500 beds are ready to be installed in Delhi government hospitals,” he added.

COVID-19, Mr. Kejriwal said, had been declared an epidemic in Delhi following which all public places, government and private offices, malls, and shops, had been notified to disinfect their premises and that shall be compulsory for all.

“Whatever we are doing, is to contain the spread of COVID-19. I hope everyone will support us. We are noticing how rapid the outbreak has been, but in India, we have successfully been able to contain the outbreak with the support of the public. We shall remain alert to stop this disease from spreading,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Health Minister wrote to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, requesting assistance to strengthen the number of testing laboratories in Delhi.

“I have written a letter to Mr. Vardhan requesting him to increase and strengthen the testing facilities. We have also requested opening of testing laboratories in four Delhi government hospitals and other private hospitals, along with Lady Hardinge Hospital, where the testing laboratory was to become operational,” he said.

Private hospitals, he said further, should also be permitted to conduct tests because it was important for every hospital to have a testing lab.

‘More labs needed’

“We need more testing laboratories to conduct tests quickly and to also contain the panic around the whole situation,” he added.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:03:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-government-fully-prepared-to-handle-covid-19-crisis-kejriwal/article31054406.ece

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