Lockdown in Delhi only if health infrastructure collapses, says CM Kejriwal

People wait in the observation room after getting their Covishield dose during the Covid-19 vaccination drive at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital, Raghubir Nagar in West Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the government was against imposing a coronavirus-related lockdown in the Capital but urged people to leave their house only if absolutely necessary.

He said that the fourth and current wave in Delhi was worse than the one in November and that various curbs had been put in place to control the surge of the virus. A lockdown would only be imposed it the health infrastructure collapsed and as of now, there were enough beds, ventilators and oxygen available to deal with the rising cases.

“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 who need a bed more desperately will not get one and it may even lead to death,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He added that he had been getting reports that people were 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 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 practise hand washing and social distancing even after getting vaccinated. Figures in Delhi show that this wave is more prevalent among the younger population. I urge the Central government to allow us to get those below 45 vaccinated at the earliest,” 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 have been reduced to 50 and funerals to 20. Restaurants, bars, 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 were also capped at 50%.

The Capital reported 7,897 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday with a positivity rate of 10.21%. The number of deaths during the same period was 39.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:45:56 AM |

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