COVID-19: Will Not Open Schools In Delhi Unless Fully Convinced, Says Kejriwal
Delivering his Independence Day speech at the Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal said the COVID-19 situation in the city is "quite under control" as compared to what it was two months back and thanked all the stakeholders, including the central government, 'corona warriors' and different organisations.
(Eds: Adds quotes) New Delhi, Aug 15 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the Delhi government will not open schools unless it is "fully convinced" about the improved COVID-19 situation in the city. Delivering his Independence Day speech at the Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal said the COVID-19 situation in the city is "quite under control" as compared to what it was two months back and thanked all the stakeholders, including the central government, 'corona warriors' and different organisations.
He said in view of reports that some patients collapsed due to drop in their oxygen levels even after recovering from the disease and testing negative, the Delhi government will start providing oxygen concentrators to them from next week.
The chief minister said the safety and the health of schoolchildren are very important to the AAP government. "I meet people and get messages from them asking not to open schools. I want to assure them that we care about their children as much as they do. Unless fully convinced, we are not going to open the schools," he said.
Kejriwal said Delhi "gave the model" of home isolation and plasma therapy concept to the country in the fight against the pandemic. He said reviving the economy is the biggest challenge but expressed confidence that it will be brought back on track with the cooperation of Delhiites. Efforts are being made for this, he said. The Delhi government will take many steps in the coming days to strengthen the economy of the city and resolve the problems faced by the traders, he said.
"I am happy that despite the revenue of Delhi got drastically reduced, we did good financial management and did not let our subsidy schemes get affected during the crisis.The subsidies that the Delhi government was providing before coronavirus, they were being provided even during the time of corona crisis, and they will continue even in the coming days," he stated. This year, the city government shifted its Independence Day event to the Delhi Secretariat from Chhatrasal Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The government also provided Rs 1 crore ex gratia to the family of "corona warriors" who died while serving COVID-19 patients, he said, adding that this sent a message that his government cares for them. "The Delhi model is being talked about in the country and has emerged as a studycase in the world. It is an outcome of working by taking everyone together. Home isolation was a scientifically thought model to provide a hospital bed to serious patients and treat mild ones at home," he said.
He said the home isolation model was adopted by the government considering the situation in Italy, New York and London from where stories emerged that people affected with the virus were not getting beds in hospitals and were even lying on the roads due to "limitless" number of infected persons. "In June, there was an atmosphere of fear and people were leaving the city due to the spread of coronavirus.
The situation is quite a under control as compared to what it was two months back," he said. Kejriwal unfurled the tricolour at the function and also presented Presidential Correctional Service Medals to five officials of Delhi prisons. The function was also attended by corona warriors. He lauded Delhiites for achieving various milestones in the past five years like bringing down deaths caused by dengue to zero last year.
"We must not forget dengue while fighting coronavirus. This year too, we will launch the 'Das Hafte' campaign against dengue in the first week of September." Last year, the chief minister had launched the '10 Hafte 10 Baje 10 Minute' campaign to fight against dengue. He also credited Delhi people for the reduction in pollution level in the city by 25 per cent in 2019 as compared to that in 2015.
"We are not satisfied because we have to take many steps along with the people of Delhi to further reduce pollution," he said. Kejriwal said the Independence Day is the occasion to remember all martyrs and freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr B R Ambedkar and Jawahar Lal Nehru who fought and made sacrifices for the freedom of the country.
"We must also remember those who sacrificed for the freedom of the country and safe borders after 1947. Twenty soldiers died recently in the Indo-China border clash," he said. Remembering Bhagat Singh, he said, "We must pledge to work for an India where people have a good education and health services and enjoy equality." The function was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other ministers of the Kejriwal government, MLAs and many senior officers.