After assessing the prevailing situation, we have decided to not permit any relaxation in the lockdown in Delhi, as of now: CM Arvind Kejriwal

  • It is worrying that none of the 186 positive cases recorded on Saturday had symptoms: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • Many people in containment zones have violated the norms of social distancing, no new cases were observed in containment zones where social distancing protocol was followed: CM Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that there will be no relaxation in the lifting of the lockdown from 20 April as the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise in the national capital. CM Kejriwal said the state government will review its decision after a week. Delhi currently has the second-highest number of cases after Maharashtra with 1893 people testing positive. The Delhi CM asserted that even though Delhi accounts for 2% of India’s population, the cases account for 12% of the total cases in the country. Delhi has 77 containment zones that have been sealed to control the spread of the disease.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “As per the instructions of the Central government, some restrictions of the lockdown can be lifted from tomorrow, especially in the areas that have not been severely impacted by COVID-19. We have to deliberate on which restrictions imposed should be relaxed. The central government has also said that restrictions should not be relaxed in the hotspot areas or containment zones. There are containment zones in all the 11 districts in Delhi. The Delhi government has done its assessment in consultation with various experts and departments. In the last few days, there has been a considerable rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi. We have also increased our testing capacity and the cases are also rising.”

“Yesterday, we obtained reports on 736 tests done, out of which 186 or approximately 25% cases were tested positive. All the 186 COVID-19 positive cases that were reported yesterday were asymptomatic, they didn’t know they had Coronavirus. This is more dangerous and worrying because these people tested were living their normal routine, and they must have infected more and more people in the meantime,” he added.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said that while interacting with one of the patients, it was found out that the person had been distributing food in a designated food center of the Delhi government. “I have instructed that rapid testing of all the staff and the people who have visited the food center be done. This means that COVID-19 has been spreading in Delhi. The number of containment zones is also rising, which has now reached 77 containment zones. We did random testing in the containment zones, and it was observed that no cases were reported in the areas where containment protocol was strictly followed, but a surge in cases was observed where the protocol was not followed and people defied the norms of social distancing and lockdown. For instance, in Jahangir Puri, 26 people were tested COVID+ because they did not observe the containment protocol,” said the CM.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said that even though COVID is spreading in Delhi, the situation is under control, and there is no need to panic. There are 1893 COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which 26 are in ICU, and 6 are on ventilators. Around 46 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. He said, “If the lockdown had not been imposed, we would be on par with other nations where the numbers are quite high. What if 3000 people would require the ICUs and 2500 people would require ventilators. We have observed a similar pattern in Italy, Spain and the US, where the ICUs, ventilators and the entire healthcare system were not sufficient in treating all the patients. Our country would be suffering from a similar fate if the lockdown had not been imposed. Delhi accounts for 2% of the population of the country, but Delhi also has around 12% of the total COVID-19 positive cases in the country. It is because Delhi is the capital of the country and it has to fight the hardest battle against COVID-19. Maximum people who came from abroad landed in Delhi, and they brought COVID-19 with them. Delhi had to suffer the brunt of it, along with the Markaz event that happened a few days back.”

“We have to deliberate on whether or not any relaxation should be made because as much as we realize that people are in distress and are facing difficulties due to the lockdown, we also have to see that the situation does not worsen in terms of rising COVID-19 positive cases. We have to be patient. We have decided to not relax any restrictions in Delhi for now. We will have discussions with experts and the concerned departments again after a week and will review our decision,” he added.