Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the city was fully prepared to tackle COVID-19, and was four-steps ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. “It is a matter of concern but it is nothing to be scared of. I assure you that your government is four steps ahead of coronavirus,” Kejriwal said, while admitting that Delhi was witnessing a surge in cases. Follow coronavirus LIVE updates
Delhi now has 17,386 confirmed cases, more than 7,800 of whom have already recovered. Kejriwal said of the total patients, only 2,100 were in hospitals while the rest were undergoing treatment at their homes. The national capital has reported the deaths of 398 people so far.
“Most of the people are recovering, and they are recovering at home. There is no need to panic,” Kejriwal said, while addressing a press conference. “Also, living in a lockdown permanently is not possible. No one can say that if the lockdown is extended for one or two months, Corona will end,” Kejriwal said.
On Friday, the government said that five hotels would be linked to five private hospital to increase the number of Covid beds. Kejriwal said it would be a major cause of worry if the number of deaths sees a sudden rise of if there are no beds to accommodate the patients that require hospitalisation.
“The second thing we want to ensure is that if people are infected and need hospitalisation, they don’t have to run from pillar to post to look for facilities. We have made arrangements,” he said. After increasing capacity over the past week, Delhi now has 6,600 Covid beds available in the city, Kejriwal stated.
“We have issued orders and by June 5, Delhi will have 9,500 beds available. In Delhi government facilities alone, there will be around 4,600 beds. We had around 2,500 earlier. Many people prefer to get admitted in private hospitals since many have insurance covers. The capacity in private hospitals is also being increased and they will have over 3,500 beds by June 5,” he added
Acknowledging the fact that some people had to run around to get themselves or their kin admitted, Kejriwal said that a mobile application, which will have information about the number of beds available in different hospitals, will be launched on Monday.
Caution against fake news
Referring to videos being shared on social media which claim to show a number of dead bodies piling up in a hospital and another, where someone alleged that Delhi hospitals are serving poor quality food, Kejriwal appealed to people to not be misled by fake videos.
“I have one request, please don’t get misled by fake videos. This is very dirty politics. There was a video doing the rounds about dead bodies piling up in hospitals. It turned out that the video is not from Delhi. There was another on poor quality of food in Delhi government hospitals. Later it turned out that the video was not from a Delhi government hospital,” he said, adding that he had spoken to hospital heads when the videos came out. “They are working so hard to ensure everything works smoothly. When these fake videos are circulated, they get demotivated. By spreading these fake videos, we are insulting the doctors. If a video is true, rest assured, we will take action,” he said.
For the second consecutive day, Delhi reported more than 1,000 new cases on Friday. It also added 82 deaths to its tally, only 13 of whom had died on Friday. The other fatalities had happened prior to Friday but hadn’t been counted.
The number of infected people who have died could be even more since Delhi has added only those cases where the “primary cause of death” has been determined to be COVID-19 by a Death Audit Committee.
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