Updated: April 10, 2021 9:55:02 pm
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday ruled out the possibility of another round of stringent lockdown to combat the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the city, announcing that some sector-specific restrictions are in the offing.
Speaking to reporters after reviewing facilities at the LNJP Hospital here, Kejriwal said authorities are working to reinstate the level of arrangements that were put in place in November, when Delhi had battled the third wave of the virus, with daily case count peaking at 8,593 cases on November 10.
“We are currently in a comfortable position with reference to beds and ventilators. We will ensure that the people of Delhi stay safe. Lockdown is not an option, however, we will be putting some restrictions in place to contain the spread of the virus. We will release the restrictions in the coming few days. COVID centres are being rebuilt and some have already started functioning,” Kejriwal said.
As reported by The Indian Express, the government is planning to implement curbs such as allowing fewer people in buses, focus on preventing gatherings during the upcoming navratra festival and prepare the medical infrastructure to combat a November-like situation.
In November, over 18,000 beds in hospitals were dedicated for Covid-19 patients. At that time, the case positivity rate had risen to around 15 per cent. Medical students and interns were also roped in for patient care.
Meanwhile, at LNJP, Kejriwal said, 500 more beds will be designated Covid-dedicated if the situation demands. Currently, 1,500 beds out of 2,000 are Covid beds in the hospital, which played a crucial role in treatment of infected individuals during the previous waves of the virus.
The chief minister conceded that the health system and agencies “became lax” after the last wave subsided. “It is imperative that they gain their momentum again and begin to function in the same efficient manner that they did, which helped contain the spread of the virus,” he said.
Kejriwal said the current stock of vaccine doses with the Delhi government will last a week to 10 days. Health Minister Satyendar Jain had recently said that Delhi is regularly receiving vaccine doses from the Centre and he was hopeful that demands placed for the coming days will also be met.
“I have written a letter to the Prime Minister, in which I have said that if adequate doses of the vaccination are made available to us and if we are given permission to increase the number of vaccination centres along with the removal of the age cap, then within two to three months we can vaccinate the entire state. According to me, there is an immediate need to remove these obstacles that are coming in the way of the vaccination campaign,” he added.
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