- The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi has doubled in two weeks
- "A permanent lockdown is no solution," Arvind Kejriwal said
- "We are making plenty of arrangements," he added
Delhi can't have a permanent lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said this afternoon as he agreed in the same breath that the national capital, which has the third highest COVID-19 cases in India, has seen a huge jump in the number of new patients.
"We agree that the city has seen a huge spike in the number of coronavirus cases. But we should not panic. The situation in Delhi would be worrying for me in two scenarios - if the number of deaths increases and if there's a shortage of hospital beds," the Chief Minister said today during a video conference.
"A permanent lockdown is no solution. We have to move on with all the precautions," the Chief Minister further said, stressing that the national capital "is four steps ahead of coronavirus".
"We are making plenty of arrangements that are much more than the requirements," he said.
The 51-year-old AAP chief has repeatedly said that the people in the national capital would have to learn to live with the pandemic that has affected more than 17,000 in the city-state; 398 patients have died. The city-state's tally has doubled in two weeks - from 8,500 cases on May 14 to 17,386 cases today.
Of the total cases recorded so far, only 2,100 patients are in hospitals; rest have been discharged, Arvind Kejriwal said. "Most people who have contracted the illness have mild or no symptoms; they are recovering at their home," he added.
The AAP government has arranged 2,100 additional beds for COVID-19 patients in a week's time, the Chief Minister underlined. "We had 4,500 beds last week. Today, the city has 6,600 beds for the patients. By next week, we are planning to take this figure to 9,500," he said.
On Sunday, private hospitals in the city-state were asked to reserve 20 per cent of the hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
A mobile app will be launched on Monday that will help the patients in Delhi track the number of beds in the city, the Chief Minister said.
Attacking those who have been targeting the AAP government over the handling of the pandemic, Mr Kejriwal said: "This is not the time for dirty politics. All of us have have to work together for the nation."
A fake clip, which claims that a large number of bodies are piling up in Delhi, doing rounds is not from the national capital, the Chief Minister said. "Be rest assured, I would be the first one to take action if any video, which is genuine, is reported," he added.
Across India, the number of COVID-19 cases have crossed the 1.7 lakh-mark; more than 4,900 deaths linked to the illness have been registered.