Kejriwal: Situation worrisome; Delhi’s daily Covid count surpasses Nov 2020 intensity
Terming the present situation of Covid-19 in the Capital worrisome, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged people to stay at home as much as possible, as the ongoing peak has surpassed the intensity of November 2020, with Delhi recording 10,732 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
He asked people to use face masks and sanitisers and maintain social distancing. Kejriwal added that the government in Delhi does not want to impose a lockdown. He suggested the people to not go for private hospitals only, because they have limited beds, and the Delhi government hospitals also have enough beds and are well equipped.
Kejriwal said Delhi can vaccinate all by going door to door within 2-3 months, 65% of COVID patients are below 45-years, he said that the Central government should remove the age bar for vaccination. He also appealed to all political parties to work together to fight corona.
Kejriwal said: “Corona is rising rapidly in the entire country. In Delhi too, it has increased significantly in the past 10-15 days. It is the fourth wave in Delhi. Prior to this, Delhi has seen three waves; all of us Delhiites faced it quite nicely and it was resolved. The fourth wave is very dangerous. It is spreading very fast so much so that it is beyond the understanding of many people.”
He said: “For instance, until a few days ago, i.e. till mid-March, the number of cases reported per day, was less than 200. The report that would be published in the evening states that Delhi reported 10,732 new cases in the last 24 hours. The day before yesterday, there were 7,900 cases; before that, there were 8,521 cases. You can see that in the past 3 days itself, the cases have increased so rapidly. First 2 days there were 8000-8500 cases and yesterday 10,732 cases came up. No doubt, the situation is worrisome. However, your government is keeping an eye on the situation. I’m personally monitoring it. We are doing whatever needs to be done, taking everyone’s aid.”
Kejriwal said: “Currently, we are working on 3 levels. First, how can we stop the spread of corona? In this regard, the government won’t be able to do much single-handedly. The citizens of Delhi will have to collaborate. You did cooperate earlier as well- any time we encountered a new wave, you cooperated with great vigour. Not for anyone else, but for ourselves, our own health and our own family; we will have to follow all the protocols strictly. Our health and safety are in our own hands. We reiterate three things quite frequently- wear masks; maintain social distancing and wash your hands frequently. In this, add one more thing- step out of the house only when necessary. It is only a matter of few days. I truly hope that the way the last three waves ended, this fourth wave too shall pass. As of now, please try and stay at home. Step out of the house only if it’s important.”
He said: “We do not want to impose a lockdown but yesterday, helplessly, the government has been ordered to impose a few restrictions. For instance, buses would ply only at 50% capacity, there would be 50% occupancy in the metros, bars and restaurants would function at 50% occupancy- such restrictions have been imposed for your own safety and health. I would like to appeal to you all to follow it properly.”
He said: “On one hand we are trying to stop the spread of corona, on the other hand, the number of patients is increasing at such a fast pace. When someone gets tested positive, they either go for home isolation or to the hospital. We are trying that in case people require access to the hospital, the Delhiites get the best facilities possible. There shouldn’t be any dearth with regard to beds, ventilators and oxygen. We are trying to arrange all this. In the month of November, we have seen one peak. We encountered 8,500 cases. Today, we have already crossed 10,700 cases. This peak is even more dangerous than the one we witnessed in November.”
Kejriwal said: “I went to inspect the LNJP Hospital yesterday, talked to the doctors and nurses there. I would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and paramedic staff on behalf of all the Delhiites. They have been working for the past year. Even now, they are working with great persistence. I had a conversation with them yesterday. We are focusing on hospital management. In the past few days, I received messages from people who stated that ‘I went to this hospital, there were no beds available. We went to the other, but with no success. The app that we launched during the first wave in June, is still working. If you tested positive and require access to the hospital, the app shows which hospital does have availability of beds. All of you must download the app and check where the beds are available. Take the patient to that particular hospital straight away instead of going from one hospital to the other.”
He said: “Some people are only going to the private hospitals. These hospitals have a lesser number of beds. In the past 5 years, your government has made the Delhi government hospitals fabulous. Very good treatment is being provided in the government hospitals of Delhi. Even the richer sections are going to the government hospitals. It is a kind request that you must not run towards the private hospitals. Good treatment would be provided even in government hospitals. If your app shows that beds are available in government hospitals, then please go there.”
He said: “However, avail hospital facility only if you really need it. If everyone starts to run towards the hospitals, we would fall short of beds, ventilators and ICU. Hence, go to the hospital, only if necessary. Otherwise, stay in home isolation. Let the hospital beds be available only for serious patients. If you are asymptomatic or have simple symptoms and you go to the hospital and occupy one bed, even when you could be treated at home itself- in case a serious patient comes in, he would not be able to get access to the bed and he would have to wait. He could also lose his life. He really needs the hospital.”
Kejriwal said: “It is a humble request to all. I’ve heard from many people- they say that they just went to the hospital and got admitted there so that others in their home do not get it too. However, please opt for home isolation. Our team would come to your home and inform you of all guidelines. Oximeter would be given to you. They would guide you on what steps to take. We would stay in contact with you. Delhi has the world’s best home isolation plan. You must avail its benefit. I require your cooperation in this- till the time you don’t need to go to the hospital mandatorily, let the hospital beds be available for the more serious patients. At this time, hospital management is the most important. I have seen how at the international level, hospitals fall short. It is such a contagious disease that if we fall short of hospitals, it would become a serious problem.”
He said: “I had said it earlier as well. I am not in favour of lockdown. I feel that lockdown is not the solution to Corona. It should be imposed by any government when its hospital structure collapses. Through lockdown, the pace of its spread reduces. As of now, the hospital facilities are under our control. We need your support and cooperation. If you cooperate and the hospital facilities stay under control, we won’t have to impose a lockdown in Delhi. However, in case the number of beds in hospitals, start falling short, we might have to impose a lockdown. I am not in favour of lockdown. I just need your cooperation. The first point was to stop its spread, second was with regard to hospital management and the third is vaccination.”
He said: “Today there is a strange contradiction. We now have a vaccine for Corona. Despite this it is spreading so rapidly. In order to prevent this, we must have vaccinated the citizens at a much faster pace. In case we had vaccinated the people much faster than the pace of Corona’s spread; we would have been able to control it. The speed of vaccination at present is very low. I requested the central government multiple times, wrote them a letter, wrote another letter to the PM too, stating that all restrictions on the vaccination process must be removed. The Delhi government is ready to go to each and every house and vaccinate the people. Our staff is ready for this. In the meeting of all CMs, 2-3 other CMs also said that they would vaccinate all citizens in their state in the next 3 months, asking the centre to remove all these restrictions, one of them being that only people above the age of 45 would be vaccinated.
Kejriwal said: “The data shows that 65% patients in Delhi are less than 45 years of age. If 65% patients are less than 45 years of age, how would its spread stop? How would we break its cycle? It can only happen with vaccination. I request the central government, who has imposed a lot of restrictions- we can’t open up centres, can’t vaccinate people below a certain age. Right now we must undertake a vaccination drive at a large scale and divert all our machinery towards it. What could be more contradictory to the fact that even though we have a vaccine, we are still struggling to fight with Corona that is spreading so rapidly. Hence, if we increase the pace of vaccination, it would serve as a solution to this.”
He said: “A recent report stated that 35 doctors, who had received both doses of the vaccine, got infected too. There was a report from a hospital in UP and another one in Maharashtra that there are people who despite having gotten both doses of the vaccine are testing positive. People are asking me if there is any benefit of getting vaccinated. So I talked to a lot of experts and doctors, all of whom said that after being vaccinated, even though you might get Corona, it would not escalate to a serious level. Even after getting vaccinated you must wear a mask and take all precautions. You might get Corona but it wouldn’t be that serious- it wouldn’t be fatal. You might not need to go to the ICU. This is the benefit of the vaccine. Whenever the central government opens up the restrictions, it would be a great thing. However, all those who are above the age of 45, they should immediately get themselves vaccinated, for their own safety and that of their family.”
He said: “We have increased the number of tests in Delhi. Earlier we were conducting 80,000-85,000 tests daily and from the past few days, 1 lakh 10 thousand tests are being conducted daily. The staff and officers are working day and night and we would do whatever is required for your health. I request and appeal to all political parties to join hands and work together. This is not the time for politics or pointing fingers at each other. We could indulge in politics later. As of now, we should work together and serve the citizens of Delhi.”
Kejriwal said: “I would like to appeal to all citizens who had cooperated so well last time. We are taking the aid of central government. I appeal to all doctors, NGOs, religious and social institutions that since this fourth wave is so dangerous, we must join hands in the name of humanity and face it together. When I ask someone why they aren’t wearing a mask, they say that it has been a year, we are now tired. Think about our doctors, es and the paramedic staff who has been working day and night, 24 hourrs, from the past 1 year. Aren’t they tired? They are more tired than you are. If they can work for 24 hours from the past one year, risking their own life, then the least you can do is to wear a mask. Your life comes at risk when you don’t. This ‘getting tired’ is not allowed. For your own good.”
He said: “I would again like to appeal to you all. It is a very challenging time. I believe that it is only a matter of a few days. The way that Delhiites faced the previous 3 peaks with such great vigour, this time too we will face the fourth wave together.”