Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Central Board of Secondary Education on Tuesday to cancel the year-end Board exams for classes X and XII in view of the fourth wave of Covid cases in the national capital.
Kejriwal said the city has seen close to 3,500 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest so far.
“Around 6 lakh children will write these exams and 1 lakh teachers will be involved. These exams centres can become hotspots. The health and well being of children is very important. I appeal to CBSE with folded hands that the exams be cancelled. Some other method of evaluation can be thought of — online or internal assessment perhaps. But cancelling these exams is crucial. Many countries have also cancelled exams; some Indian states have done it too. These exams should be cancelled too,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the number of cases among those under the age of 45 was higher and they comprised 65% of the case load over the past 10-15 days.
“I appeal to the youth to stay at home if they can. You are very important to us as well as your families. Your health and your safety is important to us, you are our future. I understand that you are responsible for your families; you have to go out and work. My appeal is that you go out only if necessary, and when you do, follow all Covid-related protocols and precautions,” he said.
He also appealed to all those over the age of 45 to get vaccinated. “The vaccine is free at government hospitals and many centres are open through the night for vaccination,” he said.
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The government is attaching a few hotels and banquet halls with hospitals so that patients who are not serious can be admitted there.
“If someone needs oxygen only, they can be shifted to these places, where hospital staff will administer oxygen. For example, a banquet hall opposite Lok Nayak Hospital is being used. Some hospitals have been declared 100% Covid hospitals. I appeal for everyone’s cooperation. I can understand that those with non-Covid ailments will be affected. Where planned surgeries can be delayed by two-three months, they should be. There are ample facilities for emergencies in the city. The number of planned surgeries is higher. We have enough infrastructure for other non-Covid emergencies. If we are able to manage the health infrastructure, we will get past this,” he said.
Kejriwal also said that doctors in hospitals will be assessing hospitalisation needs of those admitted in hospitals already.
“Every patient in hospital is being checked to see if they need hospitalisation or not. Those who can recover at home will be requested to go back. We will monitor you regularly. If you feel ill again, you will be brought back to the hospital. Please cooperate with doctors. We have to take care of the entire city,” he said.
The city saw a total of 13,468 cases on Tuesday and a positivity rate of over 13%. The death toll has also been climbing, with 81 people dying over the past 24 hours. Beds for Covid patients in private hospital have started filling up quickly, with the Delhi Corona app unable to keep pace with the real-time situation of bed availability. Overall, 61% of beds are occupied according to the health bulletin.