Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the government is against imposing a lockdown in the Capital but urged people to step out of their houses only if absolutely necessary.
A lockdown would only be imposed if the health infrastructure collapses and as of now there are enough beds, ventilators and oxygen available to deal with the rising cases, he said.
Mr. Kejriwal added that the fourth and current wave of COVID-19 is worse than the one in November and various curbs have been put in place to control the surge in cases in the city.
‘Only serious patients’
“Only those patients, who have a serious case of COVID-19, should visit hospitals. The rest should be under home isolation. We have enough hospital beds as of now. But, if the beds are occupied by patients with mild symptoms, then people whose conditions are serious, will not get one and this can even lead to death,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
He added that Delhi has the world’s best home isolation plan, and that Delhiites must avail its benefit.
“At this time, hospital management is the most important. I have seen how at the international level, hospitals fall short. It is such a contagious disease that if we fall short of hospitals, it will become a serious problem,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
He added that he had been getting reports that people are moving from one hospital to the other trying to find beds.
“Please download the Delhi Corona app to check availability of beds in advance so that you don’t need to go from one hospital to another. People are also rushing to private hospitals where there is a shortage of beds. Over the past five years, Delhi government hospitals have improved. I urge people to visit government hospitals as well,” he said.
‘Speed up vaccine drive’
He called for the need to speed up the vaccination drive.
“I have spoken to experts who say that getting the vaccine does not mean that you will not get COVID -19. What it protects you from is a severe illness. People still need to wear masks and practice hand washing and social distancing even after getting vaccinated,” he said.
Mr. Kejriwal said data shows that 65% of patients in Delhi are less than 45 years of age and appealed to the Centre to relax the age restriction for getting vaccinated.
“If 65% of patients are less than 45 years of age, how would its spread stop? How would we break its cycle? It can only happen with vaccination,” he said.
The Delhi government on Saturday banned all gatherings except for marriage and funerals till April 30.
The government also made it mandatory for people travelling from Maharashtra to Delhi by flight to have a negative RT-PCR test report, as per an official order.
“All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival related and other gatherings and congregations,” reads the list of prohibited activities as per the order.
The number of people who can attend weddings has been reduced to 50 and funerals to 20. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, multiplexes are allowed with a maximum occupancy of 50% of the total seating capacity, as per the order. The occupancy in buses and metro trains was also capped at 50%.
Over 10K cases in 24 hrs
The ongoing peak has surpassed the intensity of November 2020, with Delhi recording 10,732 fresh COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.