Weeklong lockdown in Delhi: All you need to know
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a week-long lockdown in Delhi, starting from 10 pm tonight till next Monday (26th April) in the wake of a sharp surge in coronavirus cases in the city.
He said with 25,000 cases daily, the health system of Delhi has reached its limit. It has not collapsed but is under great stress. He said if strict measures are not taken now, the health system in Delhi can collapse.
He said in this period of six days of lockdown, the Delhi Government would arrange for a large number of beds and utilize this lockdown to arrange for oxygen and medicines.
He requested the labourers to stay in Delhi and not panic. He also said that in this duration, all essential services concerning food, medicine, etc will continue, a total of 50 people would be allowed to attend weddings for which separate passes will be issued.
He added: “After reviewing the entire situation, your government feels that it is pertinent to impose a lockdown in Delhi for a few days. Hence, a lockdown is being imposed in Delhi from 10 P.M. tonight to 5 A.M. next Monday morning, i.e. for 6 days. In this duration, all essential services with regard to food, medicine, etc would continue. This is also the wedding season. It is with great difficulty that people find a good match and we do not want to hamper this. Hence, only a total of 50 people would be allowed to attend the wedding for which separate passes would be issued. A detailed order would be published in a while, stating all services that would continue and all those that would be prohibited.”
Kejriwal appealed to the labourers to not panic and to stay in Delhi. He said: “The LG and I have taken this decision only when no other option was available. It was not easy for us to take this decision as I understand how people lose their jobs and salaries during the lockdown. This is especially difficult for the economically weaker sections and daily wage labourers. The last time when the lockdown was imposed in the entire country, we saw how a large number of migrant workers began returning to their villages. I would like to appeal to them, with my hands joined, this is a short lockdown for 6 days. Please do not leave Delhi. You would lose a lot of time, money, and energy in traveling. Stay in Delhi. I have full faith that this short period of lockdown would not be extended. We might not have to extend it. Trust me that if we fight this together, we would be able to overcome this. I assure you, the government will take full care of you. I am here, have faith in me.”
He said: “I appeal to all citizens of Delhi- we have taken this decision with great difficulty. All of you know that I have been strictly against a lockdown and have always opposed it. I believe that a lockdown would not put an end to corona, it only reduces the pace of its spread. I have always believed that imposing a lockdown becomes crucial, only after the health system of the city reaches its limit. This ensures that the number of patients reduces and the health system revives.”
“In this period of six days of lockdown – the six days that we are taking from you- we would arrange for a large number of beds in Delhi. We are asking for help from the center and have been in constant touch with them. The central government is helping us too, for this, we are very thankful. We would also utilize this lockdown to arrange for oxygen and medicines. It is a humble request to all that they follow the rules and do not step out of their home. We have taken many difficult decisions earlier as well, you cooperated with us. I truly hope that you would cooperate with us, this time too. We would fight this together and surely win,” added the CM.
Addressing a digital Press conference today, Kejriwal said: “Since corona emerged a year ago, I have come in front of you from time to time, keeping all facts and the situation at hand in front of you and discussing the same with you. One thing we have always upheld- we never gave out wrong information, never lied to you, and presented the situation as it is. If the situation was good, we informed you, and even if it wasn’t we told you honestly.”
He said: “We had understood on the very first day itself that this catastrophe could not be fought single-handedly by the government, without your support. The support and cooperation of the citizens are crucial in this struggle. If at any time the citizens are not informed about the truth and all facts are not kept in front of them, it would be impossible to assure their cooperation. Hence, we provided all information to you.”
Kejriwal said: “We did not let the number of tests reduce. Today, the maximum number of tests are being conducted in Delhi. If we notice the number of tests being done per 10 lakh persons, then Delhi is conducting the highest number of tests in the world. I saw that in many places they reduced the number of tests due to which the number of cases that came to light, reduced as well. In this manner, misinformation was spread. But we did not resort to anything like this. We did not reduce the number of tests. Instead, we increased them by manifolds. Today, almost 1 lakh Corona tests are being conducted in Delhi.”
“We did not hide the number of people who lost their lives. We kept the number of deaths in front of you, honestly. If they were more, we informed you and if they were less, that too was put forward in front of you. The number of ICU beds available and the situation at hand – everything was informed honestly. It is due to this, whenever we took strict decisions, we received the cooperation of citizens. I always say that the 2 crore citizens of Delhi are a family. In any case of distress, all members of this family faced every situation together. Even now, we will face it together. We won earlier and would win now as well,” he added.
He said: “As far as the current situation in Delhi is concerned, in the last 24 hours, approximately 23,500 new cases have come up. Prior to that, around 25,500 cases came to light. Hence, from the past 3-4 days we have noticed that around 25,000 cases are coming up on a daily basis. Positivity has increased a lot. The number of beds in the Delhi hospitals is falling short. If 25,000 cases come up daily then any system can creak. There is a heavy shortage of beds in Delhi. I checked the app today and it showed that there are less than 100 ICU beds in Delhi. There is a shortage of oxygen as well. We wrote to the central government as well and discussions are going on. A night before yesterday, a tragedy was prevented. One private hospital informed us that around 3 AM, the night before yesterday, they had almost no oxygen left. They panicked as a huge tragedy could have occurred. It was with great difficulty that they managed to procure oxygen. We are falling short of medicines, especially Remdesivir.”
“I am not informing you of all this to scare you. This is the actual situation. We need to decide on the next step that needs to be taken has to be in light of this situation. The Corona situation in Delhi is very critical. Till now, we managed the health system in Delhi quite well. This is the fourth wave in Delhi. The first wave was encountered last year in June wherein around 4,500 cases had come up. The second wave was in September. Then the third wave saw around 8,500 cases. There are cities in the most developed countries of the world whose healthcare systems collapsed as they witnessed 6,000 cases. Delhi encountered 8,500 cases in the third wave, yet our health system did not collapse. On the other hand, we ramped up our preparations. But today, with 25,000 cases the health system of Delhi has reached its limit. It is under great stress. I am not saying that the health system has collapsed, but today it is under great stress. There are certain limits to any health system. None of them can cater to a countless number of patients,” said the CM.
Kejriwal said for the past 5 years, the Delhi government has worked in the field of health with great vigor, on a large scale. He said: “We established multiple hospitals, Mohalla Clinics and Poly Clinics. There has been large-scale work and development in the field of health. This is the reason why even after 25,000 cases, Delhi’s health system is still working. However, if strict measures are not taken now, this system can collapse. If the health system collapses, then I fear we might witness a huge tragedy.”
“As I informed that yesterday a hospital ran out of oxygen and a huge tragedy was somehow prevented. I have seen videos and pictures, as you might have too, on social media. There are many cities around the world where patients are lying in the corridors or losing their life on the streets. Till now we have saved Delhi from such a tragedy,” added the CM.
Kejriwal said: “I had a meeting with LG at 11 A.M. today and we discussed at length the entire situation at hand and all its aspects. After this, we felt that Delhi’s healthcare system would not be able to take in more patients on such a large scale. If we do not impose a lockdown now, we might face a tragedy. We do not want Delhi to face such a situation where patients are lying on the corridors or losing their life on the streets; at any cost.”