With the capital reeling from a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Monday clarified that there are no plans to reimpose the lockdown. Stressing that the “third wave is past its peak,” Jain was quoted as saying by ANI, “There will be no reimposition of lockdown in Delhi. I don’t think it will be an effective step now, wearing of masks by everyone will be more beneficial.”
One of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Delhi currently has over 4 lakh cases. Over the last week, Delhi contributed the maximum number of new cases in the country, breaching the 8,500-mark for a day and recording over 51,000 cases in the last week. Since Friday, the capital has recorded more than 90 deaths per day. The day’s bulletin released by the Delhi government in the afternoon recorded 3,235 cases and 95 deaths with a positivity rate of 15.33 per cent.
In the wake of the surge, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday took stock of Delhi’s COVID-19 situation and held a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain and senior officers of the central government.
To combat the rising cases, the Centre announced a slew of steps including making available 300 additional ICU beds, double the number of daily RTPCR tests and a house-to-house survey in the entire national capital. Shah also said some of the hospitals under the municipal corporations of Delhi will be converted into dedicated COVID hospitals.
Following the meeting, Kejriwal said that tests will go up from an average of around 60,000 per day to 1-1.25 lakh soon. The Centre’s intervention was prompted by a sharp surge in cases and the dip in availability of Covid beds in the national capital, especially in intensive care facilities. Private hospitals were the first to raise the alarm over paucity of Covid ICU beds early this month. Government hospitals too are now running short. In all, Delhi has just 164 Covid ICU beds vacant.
Sunday’s meeting was convened in the wake of the rising number of cases, which is being called the ‘third wave’ of COVID-19, in Delhi and it noted the increasing strain on medical infrastructure in the city. It was the second major intervention by Shah since June when he had stepped in and announced several steps to check the number of infections in the capital.x
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