The Delhi government is fully prepared to handle the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday after chairing a meeting of senior officials to review the COVID-19 preparations in the city.
The CM’s statement comes in the backdrop of a spurt in coronavirus cases in the national capital over the past two weeks. On Wednesday, the city logged 300 new cases for the first time since August 31 and reported two COVID-related deaths.
Mr. Kejriwal said all Delhi government-run hospitals have been directed to maintain COVID-19 isolation wards.
He also said that random testing is being conducted on 2% of the passengers at Delhi airport.
While the government has not made wearing of masks in public places mandatory, it has advised people visiting hospitals and those diagnosed with respiratory ailments to wear them.
The CM said Delhi has 7,986 beds for COVID-19 patients, including those in the Intensive Care Units, of which only 66 are occupied. He added that the Delhi government conducted a drill on March 26 to check the response of 38 government hospitals in dealing with coronavirus cases. Another such drill will be conducted on April 10-11 in all the government and private hospitals here as per the Centre’s directives, the CM said.
Mr. Kejriwal said all COVID-19 samples are being sent for genome sequencing so that the government stays a step ahead in identifying new variants and coming up with an appropriate response.
He said the virus had been detected in some samples collected from different parts of the city’s sewage since mid-February.
The CM also said that the Centre had, two weeks ago, identified six States — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — where COVID-19 cases had spiked and asked them to take necessary precautions. Although the Capital was not on this list, Mr. Kejriwal said, the Delhi government is nevertheless taking all precautions to contain the spread of the virus.
On Thursday, Delhi recorded 295 new cases with a positivity rate of 12.48%.