Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday announced the formation of a five-member committee of medical experts to chalk out a blueprint to manage potential community transmission of COVID-19 in the capital. The Delhi government also decided to extend financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each to construction labourers rendered jobless due to the lockdown in the capital.
Kejriwal said the committee has been asked to submit its report within a day. The CM also expressed satisfaction over the fact that no new positive case has been registered in Delhi over the last 24 hours. “The situation is under control. But can we manage if it spreads? So, we have constituted a team of five experts. They will share a plan within a day on how to tackle a stage three situation in Delhi,” Kejriwal said at a live-streamed address.
The Rs 5,000 financial assistance to construction labourers is over and above the measures announced recently to help the socio-economically disadvantaged cushion the effects of the widespread restrictions better. These include doubling of pension for widows, the differently abled and senior citizens. Kejriwal said more night shelters, where free meals are being provided to the homeless and the poor, will be opened so that no one goes hungry.
Referring to the alarming spread of the virus in Italy, Kejriwal said while the situation in Delhi was largely under control, one cannot afford to be complacent as the numbers may shoot up any time. “We have to remain vigilant. I can imagine the difficulties you must be going through. It is imperative to save lives, so we are having to take strong measures. I am especially happy people are helping each other out,” the CM said.
However, he expressed strong displeasure over reports of RWAs and landlords turning away and evicting tenants who happen to be doctors, nurses, pilots and flight attendants over fears that they could have the virus. “They are putting their lives at stake for you and your children. If you fall ill, you will rush to these people only, right? Such discrimination is not right,” said Kejriwal.
The CM also lauded many individuals who paid heed to his call to exempt tenants from paying rent temporarily. “I am proud of such citizens and I want to tell them that you are the real patriots of India. I want to mention Raj Bainsla ji who has decided that he will not take rent for the month of March from any of his tenants. Anil Kaushik ji has informed that he will not take rent from his tenants and drivers for the months of March and April. Naveen Nambardar ji also decided not to take this month’s rent from his tenants. Azad Shaukeen ji decided the same. Sukant Ballav ji, an additional DCP of Northeast Delhi, took an old man in his car to the hospital for dialysis. I want to thank all these people for such encouraging steps in this tough time,” said Kejriwal.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines