Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the centre had to intervene in Delhi’s Covid situation because Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s statement that the national capital would witness 5.5 lakh cases by July 31 had created panic among the people. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
“In the second week of June, Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that by July 31 there will be 5.5 lakh cases in the city and there won’t be enough beds. His estimation was based on some data, I do not wish to talk about it. There was an atmosphere of fear. …managing the Covid situation in Delhi is the job of Delhi government. But after Sisodia’s statement, I felt the centre needed to step in.”
He said after measures taken by the centre, he was sure that such figures would not be reached. He added that at the national level, the government would win both the battles against Covid and at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“Dono jung hum jeetenge. Main janta ko ashwast karna chahata hun ki Modi ji ke netritva mein dono jung hum jeetenge. (We will win both the battles. I want to assure the people that under Narendra Modi’s leadership we will win both the battles.),” Shah said during an interview with ANI.
Shah added that Delhi’s decision to bar those from outside the state to avail of its healthcare facilities was another reason to panic. “I am also from outside Delhi, where will I go? There are so many people from outside who live in Delhi. So that decision had to be overturned by Centre,” Shah said.
The home minister explained that since Delhi’s administration is managed by three different institutions, including MCD and the Centre, he had to step in to ensure proper coordination among the three arms by holding a series of meetings.
“Centre has lot of expertise and information about situation across the country. There are many hospitals with MCD so everyone had to come together. Delhi CM and deputy CM came to the meetings. We took many decisions. I can say with confidence that the figure of 5.5 lakh will not be reached by July 31,” Shah said.
Shah also added that there was no community spread in Delhi. “I have spoken to three senior doctors. But this situation has not come in the national capital as yet. Earlier 30% would come positive because testing was low. There is no reason to panic in Delhi,” Shah said. The Delhi government had earlier suggested that it believed community spread had set in but left it to the Centre to declare the same.
In the context of the recent tussle over credit for Radha Soami Covid Care Centre at Chhattarpur, Shah continued to maintain that the state government was cooperating with the Centre.
“There is no politics. We should not focus on small things. There is no tussle over the situation between Centre and state in Delhi. They told us what they were lacking, it was provided. The Centre is getting full cooperation from the Kejriwal government. In politics there will be some political bickering. But these will not impact decisions,” Shah said.
Shah then recounted the steps taken by the Centre to manage the situation in Delhi, which included delineating containment zones afresh, improving testing to four times of the existing capacity, arranging for more beds, and conducting a serological survey.
“By June 30, we will finish testing everyone in containment zones. We have made a list of retired healthcare professionals to manage Covid Centres. They are being called to provide services. The 16,000 beds provided by the Railways are being taken care of by the armed forces. ITBP is managing the Radha Soami centre. By June 30, there will be 30,000 beds. DRDO is setting up a facility with 250 ICU beds,” Shah said.
While Shah skirted all questions on the situation at the LAC and over China, he did speak about “anti-India propaganda” on social media and said the government was capable of handling it. “But it is sad that at this time of crisis, you are indulging in such propaganda. It is a matter of concern for the Congress party that your leader’s hashtag is being promoted by Pakistan and China. You are saying things that are being liked in Pakistan and China,” Shah said in reference to certain tweets by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the situation at the LAC.
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