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Shortage of PPE kits, worried about docs and nurses, have written to Centre: Kejriwal

The CM said the city is likely to witness another surge in positive cases within the next one or two days, as reports of 500 out of 2,300 people who were hospitalised start coming in.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 5, 2020 1:41:29 am
At RML Hospital, Saturday. Fifteen people in the healthcare sector have tested positive. Praveen Khanna

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday that hospitals under the Delhi government are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. He attributed the crisis to the surge in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, fuelled by those evacuated from the Tablighi Jamaat gathering. He also said he had written to the Centre, but was yet to receive the kits so far.

Kejriwal said the number of cases in Delhi has risen to 445, with 59 new cases emerging in the last 24 hours.

“In Delhi, the situation is a little serious as we are having to take the responsibility of those who came from abroad. Around 2,300 people were evacuated from the Markaz and many among them are likely to test positive. So suddenly, there has been a shortage of PPE kits. I am worried about our doctors and nurses. I don’t want any doctor and nurse to treat coronavirus patients without PPE kits. We wrote to the Centre yesterday, seeking the kits urgently, but so far we have not received any kit,” said Kejriwal.

As of Saturday, more than 10 people in the healthcare sector have also tested positive.

The CM said the city is likely to witness another surge in positive cases within the next one or two days, as reports of 500 out of 2,300 people who were hospitalised start coming in. However, the situation is very much under control, he added, pointing out that the total figure of 445 should not be analysed in isolation.

“The fact is, only 40 cases are those with a local history of transmission. The rest are either connected to the Markaz gathering or have a history of travelling abroad. This is somewhat reassuring… this is local transmission, not community transmission,” he said.
So far, six patients have died in the national capital — five were aged over 60 while one was 36 years old. Five patients had health issues such as diabetes, liver, respiratory or cardiac ailments. “Out of those admitted, 11 are in ICU and 5 are on ventilation. Their conditions can be described as serious… The elderly will have to stay safe. Those with sugar, heart and other serious diseases will also have to take special care,” said the CM.

Kejriwal has also directed officials to convert Lok Nayak, GB Pant and Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty hospitals into COVID-19 centres.

The Delhi government also alleged unfair treatment on the Centre’s part, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia questioning the omission of Delhi from the list of states that are due to receive financial assistance from the Union government to fight COVID-19.

In a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Sisodia said Delhi has been left “high and dry” despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance, at the meeting with the Chief Ministers, that all states will receive assistance. So far, the Centre has released Rs 17,287 crore to states under the first instalment of state disaster response mitigation fund and on account of revenue deficit grants.

“To our utter disbelief, Delhi has been left high and dry with zero allocation for the substantial burden of the fight against corona… People of Delhi expect fair and equal treatment by the government of India…do not deserve step-motherly treatment from the government of India… I humbly request you to allocate Delhi’s due share of funds to fight the worst disease mankind has ever seen,” Sisodia wrote.

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