Delhi government told the Delhi High Court Thursday that it will request the Lieutenant Governor for a meeting of the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the city, including unlock norms.
On Thursday, 104 Covid deaths, the highest so far, were reported. The city saw 7,053 new cases, out of 60,229 people tested — a positivity rate of almost 12%. While there has been a reduction in the number of cases — 8,593 were recorded Wednesday — the number of deaths has been rising consistently.
The Delhi government has since May maintained that a lockdown was not the solution and that people would have to learn to live with the virus and governments would have to strengthen the healthcare system.
According to Delhi government officials, though, locking down again was much easier said than done.
“Some states were averse to unlocking but it did not slow down the spread of the disease as they had hoped it would. One of the biggest reasons Delhi is seeing such high cases is that it is testing the most in the country. Even today, we did over 60,000 tests. Anyone can come forth and get tested in Delhi; there are no restrictions, unlike in some other states,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Sources said a message requesting a Delhi DMA meeting will be sent to the L-G office Friday.
“Schools in Delhi are shut indefinitely and it is a clear call that they should not reopen any time soon because of the city’s Covid situation. As for markets and other businesses, several people lost jobs because of the lockdown. People had to return to villages. If we unlockdown again, the citizens who returned to Delhi will lose their faith in the government. Many of them were on the verge of starvation and have seen improvement only now. We have to weigh in these consequences as well. Maybe there can be a stricter limit on the number of people allowed in gatherings (200 people are allowed at present). We have only allowed what the Centre has allowed in other states,” the official said.
According to the unlock guidelines passed by the Centre, states are not allowed to impose lockdown without consulting it.
Another official said several options are still open. “We haven’t ruled anything out but any decision can be taken only after meeting the stakeholders. It is a situation that requires reassessment but experts have said that the third wave is expected to start abating soon,” the official said.x
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